One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A gregarious songbird of the American oriole family, typically having orange and black plumage and yellow eyes.
Genus Icterus, family Icteridae: several species, in particular the tropical American Icterus icterus
- ‘The mammal species that are present include goats, foxes, anteaters, rabbits and bats, while the birds are hawks, partridges, daras, pigeons, troupials and a type of cardinal.’
- ‘The eggs are incubated for 15 or 16 days and newly hatched troupials are fed equally by both parents.’
- ‘Above the sounds of the powerful wind, parakeets and troupials can be heard chattering, and the bleating of goats reverberates across rolling hills.’
- ‘You can see the troupials just about everywhere on the island.’
- ‘Members of the family Icteridae are known as troupials, meaning they have the habit of gathering into large flocks or troupes.’
Early 19th century: from French troupiale, alteration of American Spanish turpial, of unknown origin.
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