American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various birds of the family Corvidae found worldwide, having a long graduated tail and black, blue, or green plumage with white markings and noted for their chattering call. The species Pica pica, the black-billed magpie, is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. Also called pie2.
- n. Any of various birds resembling the magpie, such as the Australian bell magpie of the family Cracticidae.
- n. A person who chatters.
- n. One who compulsively collects or hoards small objects.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A well-known bird of Europe, Asia, and America, of the genus Pica and family Corvidœ; the Pica pica, P. rustica, P. caudata, or P. hudsonica. This pie is lustrous-black, with green, purple, violet, and golden iridescence; the under parts from breast to crissum, the scapulars, and a great part of the inner webs of the primaries are white; the bill and feet are black. The bird is from 15 to 20 inches long, according to the development of the tail, which is 12 inches or less in length, extremely graduated; the stretch of wings is about 2 feet. Magpies are omnivorous, like most corvine and garruline birds, and noted for their craftiness, kleptomania, and mimicry. They nest in trees and shrubs, building a very bulky structure, and lay from 6 to 9 pale-drab eggs, dotted, dashed, and blotched with brown. As a book-name, magpie is extended to all the species of Pica and some few related pies or jays with long tails. The yellow-billed magpie of California is P. nuttalli. Blue magpies are certain long-tailed jays of the genus Cyanopolius, as C. cyanus of eastern Asia and Japan, or C. cooki of Spain; also of the genus Urocissa, as U. erythrorhyncha, the red-billed blue magpie of the Orient, The bird called
French magpieis the red-backed shrike, Lanius colluro. The name magpie, or magpie-pigeon, is given to a strain of domestic pigeons bred to colors resembling those of the magpie. Magpie is often used adjectively with reference to some characteristic of the bird.
- n. The magpie-shrike.
- n. A halfpenny.
- n. A bishop: so called from the black and white of his robes.
- n. Among British marksmen, a shot striking that division of the target which is next to the outermost when the target is divided into four sections: so called because the markers indicate this hit by means of a black and white disk.
- n. A breed of small domesticated pigeons having the head, the under side of the body, and the long flight-feathers white, and the rest of the plumage clear black, red, yellow, or blue: the line between the two colors should be sharply defined. The name is derived from the suggestion of a magpie found in the black-and-white variety.
- n. A black-and-white costume for women in which the contrasts are very marked, the masses of color being large.
- n. One of several kinds of bird in the family Corvidae, especially Pica pica.
- n. A superficially similar Australian bird, Gymnorhina tibicen.
- n. Someone who displays a magpie-like quality such as collecting, or committing robbery.
- n. slang Fan or member of Newcastle United F.C.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of the genus Pica and related genera, allied to the jays, but having a long graduated tail.
- n. Any one of several black-and-white birds, such as Gymnorhina tibicen, not belonging to the genus Pica.
- n. A talkative person; a chatterbox.
- n. long-tailed black-and-white crow that utters a raucous chattering call
- n. someone who collects things that have been discarded by others
- n. an obnoxious and foolish and loquacious talker
- From Mag, a nickname for Margaret that was used to denote a chatterer, and pie, an archaic word meaning "magpie", from Old French pie, from Latin pica, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)peik- (“woodpecker, magpie”). (Wiktionary)
- Mag, a name used in proverbs about chatterers (a nickname for Margaret) + pie2. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“And I've written now five new life poems, and I'm going to read you one of what I call magpie translations, because the magpie is a thief, and I'm appropriating Joseph Brodsky's imagery, but making it my own.”
“Storm teased her over what he termed her magpie mind, which picked up snippets of information to store for future airing.”
“GRANT: The magpie is quiet, so Jess Relton asks a favor.”
“Some people are having a hard time dealing with its intimations of bad luck; the magpie is oblivious, its wings fully flung as if about to leap into flight, its beak dark and glittery, unaware it’s an omen of any kind.”
“A magpie is a very talkative and intelligent bird, which is even capable of imitating sounds.”
“I've started a new Margaret Pie aka magpie as per my take on her from the Charles de lint book Some place to be flying.”
“Rose realized that the woman's name was probably ironic; a magpie was a garrulous bird, but this one spoke only briefly.”
“The magpie was the first pet of her own she had ever had, and she loved it.”
“For the magpie is the cleverest bird of all at building nests.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘magpie’.
birds with singular names from
at least 9 English dictionaries
Interesting, there is a traditional vocabulary of an Ukrainian, that differs from vocabulary of average American. It would be nice to explore it.
Names of animals that are also used to describe kinds of people. Nouns only, preferably single word.
For a related list, see sionnach's beastly verbs.
"In zoology and botany, a name (other than the technical name) of an animal or plant found only in scientific treatises—that is, not in use as a vernacular name. It is often a mere adaptation of th...
Objects that are black, shades of lack, or something with blackness within.
Birds endemic to the United States and/or North America.
Words that, as I see it, have some fond connection to the Alice stories through their creation or particular use by Lewis Carroll. I mean to tie them all together with contexty comments!
Another news story about words being removed from a dictionary before their time. See also the list of words added to the dictionary.
Trimming the "Chained Bear's Favorites" list so I don't crash people's computers... like my own...
Looking for tweets for magpie.