One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A snow finch of the Asian genus Montifringilla (family Ploceidae).
Late 17th century; earliest use found in John Ray (1627–1705), naturalist and theologian. After post-classical Latin montifringilla (C. Gesner Historia Animalium, after earlier use in T. Gaza Aristotelis de Natura Animalium), itself after ancient Greek ὀρόσπιζος (Aristotle).
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