One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A falcon with a dark brown back and buff cap, found in south-eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Falco biarmicus, family Falconidae
- ‘The release of white tailed eagle, Harris hawk and lanner falcon would be an offence under Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 unless licensed.’
- ‘Carrion is laid out to attract the feathered carnivores, and regular diners include whitenecked ravens, lanner falcons, jackal buzzards, black eagles and cape vultures.’
- ‘Large and small white egrets, spoonbills, black cranes and the very rare lanner falcons are permanent inhabitants of the near-by, strictly protected bird reserve.’
- ‘Many people have flown lanner falcons, but few have had good results taking game with them.’
- ‘There are thought to be about a million lanner falcons in the world and they are common through much of southern Europe, the Middle East, south-west Asia and Africa.’
- 1.1Falconry A female lanner.
- ‘We were watching Annie, another centre falconer, luring a young lanner through a pattern of stoops and dives after a pair of meat-garnished, dried wings swung on a long cord.’
Late Middle English: from Old French lanier, perhaps a noun use of lanier ‘cowardly’, from a derogatory use of lanier ‘wool merchant’, from Latin lanarius, from lana ‘wool’.
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