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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Bank Holiday book review – The Bird Name Book by Susan Myers – Mark Avery


That is an attention-grabbing e-book which explores the origins of fowl names from accentor to Zeledonia. I’m excited by names, and in birds, and birds’ names, and the extra I dipped into this e-book the an increasing number of I appreciated it. The 400+ pages are filled with info and are well-referenced.

I hadn’t appreciated that accentor got here from cantor and means ‘one which sings with one other’. Whereas Zeledonias are named after Jose Castulo Zeledon (1846-1923), a Costa Rican ornithologist.

Let’s contemplate G-birds. I would like to see a Gyr Falcon and if I ever do then I’ll know that its identify might be to not do with it circling round (cf gyrating) however comes from a German phrase for grasping, as a predator. This additionally means that it’s ‘jurr’ reasonably than ‘jire’ (but when I ever see one which’ll be the very last thing on my thoughts).  I’ve seen gerygones, gonoleks and gulls however I realized attention-grabbing issues about their names in these pages.

There are various (approaching one every web page) illustrations which vary from traditional art work to wonderful pictures. The e-book feels weighty within the hand and has a critical tone of scholarship however it’s also a pleasure to have a look at its pages and the textual content in locations is really fascinating.

The e-book quotes unique sources from many languages and plenty of centuries.

The duvet? It’s a Slaty-headed Parakeet by Richter from Gould’s Birds of Asia and is sort of elegant, I feel. The vary of small photographs on the back and front illustrate some birds with names that make one pause and suppose. I’d give it 7/10.

The Fowl Title Ebook: a historical past of English fowl names by Susan Myers is printed by Princeton College Press.

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