One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A common Australian monarch flycatcher with striking black and white plumage.
Rhipidura leucophrys, family Monarchidae. Alternative name: black and white fantail
- ‘Meanwhile, a willy wagtail alights on the roof of the greenhouse, waggling smugly to itself, dancing through sheer joie de vivre, it seems, whilst a string of silvery notes glitters from its throat.’
- ‘However, we found that other Australian species (e.g., grey fantails and willie wagtails) ejected all nonmimetic eggs.’
- ‘The school is generally called the Tjintitjinturrpa school, this name being again from a major local Tjukurrpa, the willy wagtail bird.’
- 1.1British informal The pied wagtail.
- ‘The Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba), is a common British bird, seen throughout the UK all year round. It gets it's name from the constant wagging of it's tail. It's known in parts of Ireland as a ‘Willie Wagtail’.’
- ‘You can spot a wagtail because it often wags its tail up and down. The nickname for a pied wagtail is a ‘Willie Wagtail’.’
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