One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Either of two southern African songbirds constituting the genus Promerops, now usually placed in their own family (Promeropidae); a sugarbird; (formerly also) †any of various similar slender-billed birds formerly included in this genus, such as certain birds of paradise and sunbirds (obsolete). Now only (in form Promerops) as a genus name.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Hester Lynch Thrale (1741–1821), writer. From French promérops (attributed to Réaumur in M. J. Brisson Ornithol II. 460/1) from pro- + ancient Greek μέροψ.
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