One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several European songbirds that frequent reed beds: (a) (more fully "†greater reed-sparrow") the reed bunting, Emberiza schoeniclus (now rare); (b) (more fully "lesser reed-sparrow") the sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, or reed warbler, A. scirpaceus (now historical).
Late 15th century. From reed + sparrow. Compare post-classical Latin passer harundinarius, passer arundinaceus.
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