One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In full "Massena partridge", "Massena quail". The Montezuma quail, Cyrtonyx montezumae (family Odontophoridae), a plump, short-tailed quail of the southern United States and Mexico.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. From scientific Latin massena, species name (proposed (in the genus Ortyx) by R. P. Lesson in Centurie Zoologique 189) from the name of Victor Masséna, French ornithologist, younger son of André Masséna, French general.
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