from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A species of European warbler (Sylvia hippolais); -- called also chip-chap, and pettychaps.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To utter the notes of the chiff-chaff.
- n. A common European bird of the subfamily Sylviinæ or warblers, the Sylvia hippolais (Latham), S. rufa (Bechstein), now Phylloscopus rufus: a near relative of the willow-warbler and wood-warbler, which it much resembles.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
People skim those ‘chiff-chaff’ little notes and forget them the next moment.
During the five years I spent at school at Bradfield I would usually, towards the end of March, receive a postcard from him saying simply, 'I have heard the chiff-chaff.'
(And there's a chiff-chaff, soft, and slim, and brown.)
Laugh! cries the chiff-chaff all day long, careless of elaboration if he can give his message, effectually cutting the silence with his two small notes like silver shears.
I have an uneasy feeling that all last year the chiff-chaff was asking himself why I wrote every day.
Indeed, I think, perhaps, it would have been wiser of me to have left the chiff-chaff out of it altogether.
I do not want an explanation of a thrush's song or a nightingale's, but why does a silly bird go on saying "chiff-chaff" all day long?
In every tree in the garden a thrush woke up and began to sing; sparrows chirped, jays screamed, blue-tits chattered, and the chiff-chaff uttered his strange note.
Listen to the chiff-chaff ingeminating the familiar unchanging call and message of spring.
The chiff-chaff, the common warbler of this moorland district, was now abundant, more so than anywhere else in England; two or three were flitting about among the alder leaves within a few feet of my head, and
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