One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounEnglish Regional, Scottish, Northern
The black-headed gull, Larus ridibundus. Formerly also: †a tern (genus Sterna) (obsolete).
Early 16th century; earliest use found in Richard Holland (d. c1483), ecclesiastic and poet. Probably from pick, variant of pitch + maw, so called on account of the bird's black head.
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