Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A newly hatched or unfledged chick.
- n. Hence A delectable morsel; a childish, tender, delicate person.
- n. A small grebe; a water-bird of the family Podicipedidae: especially applied in Europe to the Podiceps minor the little grebe, and in the United States to the Podilymbus podiceps, the Carolina or pied-billed grebe.
‘Dabchick’ is an alteration of ‘dobchick,’ where ‘dob’ comes from the Middle English ‘doppe,’ diving bird.
“Old Joe and Bob grunted approbation, and Mordacks himself was beginning to believe that some dark whirlpool or coil of tangles had drowned the poor diver, when a very gentle noise, like a dabchick playing beneath a bridge, came from the darkest corner.”
“Uncle Jack obeyed, while as Norman looked up, he saw himself apparently covered by the two guns, and at once dived like a dabchick.”
“In the hot summer weather he would bathe twenty times a day, and was as much at home in the water as any dabchick.”