American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various Old World chickenlike birds of the genus Coturnix, especially C. coturnix, small in size and having mottled brown plumage and a short tail.
- n. Any of various similar or related New World birds, such as the bobwhite.
- v. To shrink back in fear; cower.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To begin to die; decline; fade; wither.
- To lose heart or courage; shrink before danger or difficulty; flinch; cower; tremble.
- To slacken.
- To quell; subdue; overpower; intimidate; terrify.
- To curdle; coagulate.
- n. A small gallinaceous bird of the Old World, related to the partridge, and belonging to the genus Coturnix. The common Messina or migratory quail of Europe and Africa is C. communis or C. dactylisonans, highly esteemed for the table. The bill is much smaller and weaker than in the partridge, and the nasal fossæ are mostly feathered. The wings are pointed by the first, second, and third quills; the first is emarginate on the inner web; the tail is very short, soft, and slight, not half as long as the wing. The feet are small, with the tarsus shorter than the middle toe and claw, and slightly feathered above. The length of the bird is about 7 inches. The plumage is much variegated, the most conspicuous markings being sharp lance-linear stripes, whitish or buff, over most of the upper parts. This quail has several times been imported into the United States, but has failed thus far to become naturalized. There are many other quails of the same genus in various parts of the Old World, but none are indigenous to the New.
- n. One of the various small gallinaceous birds more or less closely resembling the quail proper: loosely applied, with or without a qualifying term, especially in the United States, to all the species of Ortyx or Colinus, Lophortyx, Oreortyx, Callipepla, Cyrtonyx, and other genera of American Ortyginæ or Odontophorinæ. Among such, the species of bob-white, as Ortyx virginiana, the common partridge or quail of sportsmen, are the nearest to the Old World species of Coturnix. In the United States, wherever the ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbella, is called
pheasant, the bob-white is called partridge: where that grouse is called partridge, the bob-white is known as quail. See also cuts under Callipepla, Cyrtonyx, Lophortyx, and Oreortyx.
- n. A prostitute. Also called plover.
- n. The mountain quail, Oreortyx pictus, of the western United States: so named from its bright marking of white and chestnut.
- n. An Australian hemipod, or button-quail, Turnix varius.
- n. Any of various small game birds of the genera Coturnix, Anurophasis or Perdicula in the Old World family Phasianidae or of the New World family Odontophoridae.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. obsolete To die; to perish; hence, to wither; to fade.
- v. To become quelled; to become cast down; to sink under trial or apprehension of danger; to lose the spirit and power of resistance; to lose heart; to give way; to shrink; to cower.
- v. obsolete To cause to fail in spirit or power; to quell; to crush; to subdue.
- v. obsolete To curdle; to coagulate, as milk.
- n. (Zoöl.) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to Coturnix and several allied genera of the Old World, especially the common European quail (Coturnix communis), the rain quail (Coturnix Coromandelica) of India, the stubble quail (Coturnix pectoralis), and the Australian swamp quail (Synoicus australis).
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of several American partridges belonging to Colinus, Callipepla, and allied genera, especially the bobwhite (called Virginia quail, and Maryland quail), and the California quail (Calipepla Californica).
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of Turnix and allied genera, native of the Old World, as the Australian painted quail (Turnix varius). See Turnix.
- n. obsolete A prostitute; -- so called because the quail was thought to be a very amorous bird.
- n. flesh of quail; suitable for roasting or broiling if young; otherwise must be braised
- n. small gallinaceous game birds
- v. draw back, as with fear or pain
- From Middle English quaille, quaile, from Anglo-Norman quaille, from Old Dutch *kwakila (compare West Flemish kwakkel), blend of *kwak ‘quack’ and Proto-Germanic *hwahtilō ‘quail’ (compare Dutch dialect wachtel, German Wachtel), diminutive of Proto-Indo-European *kʷoḱt- ‘quail’ (compare Latin coturnīx, cocturnīx, Lithuanian vaštaka, Sanskrit चातक (cātaka) ‘pied cuckoo’), metathesis of *u̯ortokʷ- ‘quail’ (compare Dutch kwartel, Greek ορτύκι (ortýki), Persian vartij’, Sanskrit वर्तका (vartaka)). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English quaille, from Old French, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *coacula, of imitative origin.Middle English quailen, to give way, probably from Middle Dutch quelen, to suffer, be ill; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“So a real bird I'm sure would be like, "Oh my God, listen to that" and they'd be out of there, so they -- they hunt what we call quail tarts, which are specially raised birds that hear noise and go "I'm going to go check that out," walk over and the vice president can just walk right up to them and either shoot them with his gun or hit them in the face with his hammer, whatever he wants to do.”
“Granted, shooting quail is a lot different, but clays might help work out some fundamental issues.”
“One of the big issues in raising quail is that preditors eat the young birds about as fast as you can release them.”
“He came to know the ground-nesting birds and the difference between the customs of the valley quail, the mountain quail, and the pheasants.”
“Hunting quail from a mule-drawn wagon is all that.”
“One thing I do know about quail is that they like disturbance in habitat.”
“My experience has shown that the wild quail is nothing more than a mythological beast these days, much like the unicorn or the hunter who never gets lost.”
“Remove the quail from the pan and reduce further if a thicker sauce is desired.”
“I've gotten shot in quail hunting, not by a mistake but pellets somehow richocehting off a tree infront and to the side of me.”
“A story about Dick Cheney shooting his buddy while hunting quail is now equivalent (in a moral, human sense) to a story about the Cambodian holocaust in the late 70s or a story about retro motel signs in Utah.”
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