One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large plover, typically having a black-and-white head and underparts and a loud call.
Genus Vanellus, family Charadriidae: several species, in particular the (northern) lapwing (V. vanellus) of Eurasia (also called the green plover or peewit), which has a dark green back and a crest
- ‘The moorland blaze has come at a bad time for ground-nesting birds such as golden plovers, curlews, lapwings and merlins, a rare bird of prey.’
- ‘It is the home of the lapwing, curlew, golden plover, dunlin and red grouse.’
- ‘The development of this wildlife site is ongoing with new hides to aid the study and photography of shelduck, dunlin, lapwing, golden plover and shoveller duck that have recently bred on Mangan's Lough.’
- ‘So why cannot hen harriers, sparrowhawks and goshawks be controlled to protect lapwings, curlews, golden plovers and, yes, pheasants and grouse?’
- ‘These animals become food for over 150,000 wading birds including knot, lapwing and golden plover.’
Old English hlēapewince, from hlēapan ‘to leap’ and a base meaning ‘move from side to side’ (whence also wink); so named because of the way it flies. The spelling was changed in Middle English by association with lap and wing.
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