American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos) of which the male has a green head and neck. Most domestic ducks descend from the mallard.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The wild drake; the male of the common wild duck.
- n. Hence The common wild duck, Anas boscas, the feral stock whence the domestic duck in all its varieties has descended, and the typical representative of the family Anatidœ and subfamily Anatinœ. See duck. The mallard is from 22 to 24 inches long, by 32 to 36 in extent of wings. The male has the head and neck glossy-green, succeeded by a white ring; the breast purplish-chestnut; the lower back, rump, and tail-coverts glossy-black; the tail-feathers mostly whitish, with a curly tuft; the wing-speculum iridescent, bordered with black and white; the bill greenish-yellow; the feet orange-red; and the iris brown. The female has the wings and feet as in the male, the bill greenish-black blotched with orange, and the body-colors variegated in fine pattern with lighter and darker brownish shades. The mallard is found in nearly all parts of the world. It nests on the ground, laying usually from 8 to 10 yellowish-drab eggs measuring about 2¼ by 1⅗ inches.
- n. A common and widespread dabbling duck, Anas platyrhynchos, whose male has a distinctive dark green head.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A drake; the male of Anas boschas.
- n. (Zoöl.) A large wild duck (Anas boschas) inhabiting both America and Europe. The domestic duck has descended from this species. Called also
- n. wild dabbling duck from which domestic ducks are descended; widely distributed
- From Middle English malarde, Old French malart, mallart ("wild duck"), possibly derived from male, malle ("male") + -ard. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English malarde, from Old French mallart : perhaps from male, male; see male + -ard, -ard, and or possibly of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“When I was a kid (forty years ago) I literally picked up a hen and drake mallard from a drainage ditch in then remote Western Montana.”
“In the hand The drake mallard is the most readily recognized duck, but the hen can be easily confused with the black duck, gadwall, and mottled duck.”
“Being called a mallard should be enough to embarrass any thinking human.”
“A mallard is a plain silly fat Amsterdam duck sitting on the canal.”
“So far as I am aware the mallard is the only wild duck that has been bred in sufficient numbers to slaughter for the markets.”
“The male of the wild dock is called a mallard; and the young ones are called flappers.”
“Tak a mallard and pul hym drye and swyng over the fyre draw hym but lat hym touche no water and hew hym in gobettys and do hym in a pot of clene water boyle hem wel and tak onyons and boyle and bred and pepyr and grynd togedere and draw thorw a cloth temper wyth wyn and boyle yt and serve yt forth.”
“Thousands of little egret (Egretta garzetta) and cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) winter; as well as duck species, such as mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) (42,800 in 1989), gadwall (A. strepera) (4,119 in 1985), northern shoveler (A. clypeata) (14,200 in 1991), and red-crested pochard (Netta rufina) (6,100 in 1991); and also up to 32,000 shorebirds such as avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) and black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa).”
“I placed my letter in a box with a pillow that had a mallard duck on the front.”
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