One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of several brownish grey Old World sparrows of (or formerly of) the genus Petronia (family Ploceidae), which frequent rocky country (frequently with distinguishing word); especially P. petronia, found from Portugal and Morocco to Central Asia.
2US a rufous-crowned sparrow of the subspecies Aimophila ruficeps eremoeca (family Emberizidae) (now rare).
Mid 19th century.
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