One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A diving waterbird with a long neck, lobed toes, and almost no tail, typically having bright breeding plumage used in display.
Family Podicipedidae: several genera. The several North American species include the western grebe (Aechmorphorus occidentalis) and the pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
- ‘These incoming crowds are, in turn, boosting numbers of fish-eating birds, such as herons, kingfishers, and grebes.’
- ‘The Horned Grebe is a small grebe with a straight bill, thick neck, and squarish head.’
- ‘Smallest of the grebes, the little grebe, or dabchick, is considerably rounder and more dumpy than its congeners.’
- ‘The farm is also home to blue-winged teals, coots, grebes, and an occasional osprey or peregrine falcon.’
- ‘The park has a really cool hawk tower where you can look down on the Olive Sparrows and ducks, grebes and herons on the water.’
Mid 18th century: from French grèbe (term used in the Savoie region), of unknown origin.
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