One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of or relating to the order Piciformes, which includes the woodpeckers and (in later use) the toucans, barbets, puffbirds, jacamars, and honeyguides.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Elliott Coues (1842–1889), naturalist and historian. From scientific Latin Picus, genus name (Linnaeus Systema Naturae (ed. 10, 1758) I. 112, after earlier use by him in Systema Naturae; from classical Latin pīcus woodpecker: see below) + -iform, after scientific Latin Piciformes, suborder name (E. Coues Key to N. Amer. Birds (ed. 2, 1884) iii. ii. 446; earlier as a superfamily name, A. H. Garrod 1874 in Proc. Zool. Soc 123).
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