One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A migratory gull with greenish-gray legs, found locally in northern and eastern Eurasia and northwestern North America.
Larus canus, family Laridae
- ‘The most common are the glaucous-winged gulls, mew gulls, black-legged kittiwakes, and Bonaparte's gulls.’
- ‘Other gulls in the area are mew gulls, ring-billed gulls, western gulls, and California gulls, Bonaparte gulls, Sabine's, Thayer's, and Franklin gulls.’
- ‘Dainty mew gulls and the even smaller Bonaparte's were the most numerous gulls in this mixed bag.’
- ‘Herring gulls can be separated from mew gulls by their larger size, pink legs, and larger bill with a subterminal red spot.’
Mid 19th century: mew (in Old English meau ‘mew gull’), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch meeuw and German Möwe.
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