One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The sea eagle.
- ‘The Erne is never a gregarious bird; its habits perhaps forbid the exercise of the sociable qualities.’
- ‘This erne is common in North America, both by the coasts and by inland lakes, and also occurs in Northern Europe.’
- ‘There were terns and ernes and gulls, myriad tropical varieties of birds of all shapes and sizes, albatrosses and finches and cranes…’
Old English earn ‘eagle’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch arend.
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