One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of various American songbirds with red plumage; especially those of the families Thraupidae and Cardinalidae such as the summer tanager (Piranga rubra), scarlet tanager (P. olivacea), and common cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis).
2Slang. A capsule of the drug secobarbital. [A trademark for this drug is Seconal.]
Mid 17th century. From red + bird.
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