One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: †of or relating to the former superfamily Picinae, which comprised the woodpeckers and related birds; piciform (obsolete). Later: of or relating to the subfamily Picinae, which comprises the typical woodpeckers.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Ibis: a quarterly journal of ornithology. From scientific Latin Picus, genus name + -ine, after scientific Latin Picinae, former superfamily name.
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