One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bird likened to a monkey in some way, especially in respect of its call; (formerly) (South African) the red-billed or green wood-hoopoe, Phoeniculus purpureus (also called kakelaar).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Robert Schomburgk (1804–1865), surveyor and traveller. From monkey + bird.
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