Thursday, 30 October 2014

The words of Poly-Olbion

I came across this page yesterday, and was surprised to find that Michael Drayton is credited with the first use of the name 'Goosander' (although he says "Gossander'), for the sawbill duck Mergus merganser.

It's not the only bird name that he coined, or at least first recorded, either. Bidcock (possibly meaning Water Rail) and Tydie (possibly referring to a Blue Tit) are also listed here, but Drayton's masterwork also contains a lot more references to archaic or folk bird names.

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