One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An African cuckoo which has a russet band on the upper part of the breast.
Cuculus solitarius, family Cuculidae. Alternative name: red-chested cuckoo
- ‘Occasionally the tumult was punctuated by the shrill cry of East Africa's ubiquitous red-chested cuckoo: Wip wip weeoo, ‘it will rain.’’
- ‘Other than a ‘piet-my-vrou ‘(red chested cuckoo) waking up at 5 this morning to shout, before it even got light, and my son's awakening at 5: 30 on a SUNDAY morning to ask if he could watch TV, it's been a good start to the week.’’
- ‘This is the second year that a Piet-my-vrou (red-chested cuckoo) has been heard calling from our residence.’
- ‘For example, the Cricket Board president said in the rural areas people knew the cricket season was due to begin when the singing of the piet-my-vrou was heard.’
Mid 18th century: from South African Dutch, imitative of the bird's three-note call.
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