American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A petrel, especially a storm petrel.
- n. The storm petrel
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) any one of several species of small petrels, as the stormy petrel (Procellaria pelagica), and Leach's petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa), both of the Atlantic, and Oceanodroma furcata of the North Pacific.
- n. medium-sized storm petrel
- Possibly alteration and partial translation of Medieval Latin māter cāra, Virgin Mary : Latin māter, mother + Latin cāra, feminine of cārus, dear; see kā- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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For more "odd-sounding chicken breeds & chicken-related words," see serendoxity's Fowl Words.
A rich list of Scottish bird (nick)names and related terms cited in Dr. Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary and Supplement, 1841.
Figurative 'mother' expressions.
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