One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An Old World bird related to the starlings that feeds on fruit and insects, the male typically having bright yellow and black plumage.
Family Oriolidae and genus Oriolus: many species, including the golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
- ‘Shade plantations also provide homes to seasonal migrants like warblers, orioles, tanagers, and hummingbirds.’
- ‘If you want to lure woodpeckers, hummingbirds, or orioles to your yard, invest in specialized feeders.’
- ‘First up was a bright yellow, black headed oriole which was given a new ring, as it had none.’
- ‘The buntings, orioles, hummingbirds, and many other warblers have yet to arrive.’
- ‘Despite brilliant colouring, orioles are often difficult to see slipping through the foliage where sun, shade and trembling leaves create a broken pattern of black and yellow - perfect for hiding from prying eyes.’
2A New World bird of the American blackbird family, with black and orange or yellow plumage.
Genus Icterus, family Icteridae (sometimes called the American oriole family): many species, including the Baltimore oriole
- ‘Although I have tried every year to attract orioles to orange halves placed in a container meant just for that purpose, I've not met with success.’
- ‘Omland, Lanyon, and Fritz also found that it was important to sample more than one individual to accurately infer species relationships in New World orioles.’
- ‘I see evidence of nesting by fox squirrels, blue jays, American robins, and Baltimore orioles.’
- ‘The oriole families then commence the perilous journey to tropical Africa running the gauntlet of the trappers en route.’
- ‘I can't prove it, but I presume that this is the same family of hooded orioles that visits our neighborhood each year.’
Late 18th century: from medieval Latin oriolus (in Old French oriol), from Latin aureolus, diminutive of aureus ‘golden’, from aurum ‘gold’.
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