Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name given by Le Vaillant, in the form drongeur, to a South African bird afterward known as the musical drongo, Dicrurus musicus; then extended to the numerous African, Asiatic, and East Indian fly-catching crow-like birds with long forked tails which compose the family Dicruridæ. They are also called drongo-shrikes. The Buchanga atra of India and the further East is an example.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] The generic name of a Madagascan species usually known as Dicrurus or Edolius forficatus. In this sense the quasi-Latin form Drongus is found.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A passerine bird of the family Dicruridæ. They are usually black with a deeply forked tail. They are natives of Asia, Africa, and Australia; -- called also drongo shrikes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Australia, New Zealand, slang, pejorative A fool, an idiot.
  • noun Any bird of the family Dicruridae.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From an Australian racehorse named Drongo, apparently after the bird (specifically, after the spangled drongo, Dicrurus bracteatus). The horse (foaled 1921, retired 1925) ran poorly, and by transference anyone slow-witted or clumsy became a drongo.

Examples

  • In many ways and attributes the drongo is a character.

    Last Leaves from Dunk Island

  • Having heard of the melancholy effects of over-indulgence in melaleuca nectar, I was not at all disposed to judge of the misbehaviour harshly or to take personal offence; for the drongo is a respectable bird, and the opportunities for excess come but twice a year.

    Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • The following week ABC Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes called Newman a "drongo", and said that "in a week when another ugly attack on Indian students has again put the international spotlight on racism in Australia, surely we can do without garbage like that".

    AustralianIT.com.au | Top Stories

  • The following week ABC Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes called Newman a "drongo", and said that "in a week when another ugly attack on Indian students has again put the international spotlight on racism in Australia, surely we can do without garbage like that".

    AustralianIT.com.au | Top Stories

  • The following week ABC Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes called Newman a "drongo", and said that "in a week when another ugly attack on Indian students has again put the international spotlight on racism in Australia, surely we can do without garbage like that".

    AustralianIT.com.au | Top Stories

  • The following week ABC Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes called Newman a "drongo", and said that "in a week when another ugly attack on Indian students has again put the international spotlight on racism in Australia, surely we can do without garbage like that".

    The Sydney Morning Herald News Headlines

  • If he is to be replaced, it'll be by another so called New Labour drongo (Milliband i suspect) who will probably be forced to hold a lose a General Election.

    I Must Write

  • The greater racket-tailed drongo mimics the songs of other birds.

    Spa©e headz

  • Aldabran drongo Dicrurus aldabranus (approximately 1,500 individuals) is also an endemic species which inhabits scrub, mangrove and casuarina areas.

    Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles

  • “Aussie slang: drongo – a stupid, inept, awkward or embarrassing person, a dimwit or slow-witted person”

    A Dumbass By Any Other Name | Motivational Humor from the Motivational Smart Ass!

Comments

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  • An Aussie gem meaning "slow-witted person". See also galah.

    November 17, 2007

  • Like a person speaking in a second (and third and fourth) language, the drongo was making the very calls the other species would have made if they had been present....before it flew away, the bird mimicked the call of a common predator in the rain forest, the crested serpent eagle....Then it took off in the direction of its flock. We were left speechless. What had we just observed, and why had the drongo behaved that way?

    --Eben Goodale, Amila Salgado and Sarath W. Kotagama, 2008, "Birds of a Different Feather", Natural History 117(6):25.

    June 25, 2008

  • "Lester smiled. Don't ever join the army.

    Geez, one army's enough.

    She's a good woman, Quick. She's worth two of me.

    But she makes a lousy pasty.

    Go on, you drongo."

    Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, p 257 of the Graywolf Press hardcover edition

    April 3, 2010