from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several birds of the family Upupidae found in Eurasia and Africa, especially Upupa epops, having distinctively patterned plumage, a fanlike crest, and a slender, downward-curving bill.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A tenuirostral non-passerine bird of the family Upupidæ.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) A European bird of the genus Upupa (Upupa epops), having a beautiful crest, which it can erect or depress at pleasure, and a slender down-curving bill. Called also hoop, whoop. The name is also applied to several other species of the same genus and allied genera.

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

  • noun An Old World bird, Upupa epops, known for its distinctive plumage, fanlike crest, and slender bill.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of several crested Old World birds with a slender downward-curved bill


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Alteration (influenced by Latin ūpupa) of obsolete hoop, from French huppe, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *ūppa, alteration of Latin upupa, ūpupa, of imitative origin.


  • Of all birds that hatch for themselves the hoopoe is the only one that builds no nest whatever; it gets into the hollow of the trunk of a tree, and lays its eggs there without making any sort of nest.

    The History of Animals

  • Commentators generally agree that the hoopoe is the bird intended.

    Smith's Bible Dictionary

  • a bird called a "hoopoe," according to the context.

    The Captiva and the Mostellaria

  • As I arrive, a hoopoe flounces down to the field alongside and, crest outspread, studiously feasts on worms.

    Country Diary: Ariège

  • Pisthetairos and Euelpides, frustrated with life in wartime Athens, search for Tereus, a king who had been changed into a hoopoe, in the realm of the birds in the sky.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • For example, and this is just for openers, you can be dumb as a dodo, crazy as a coot, silly as a goose, a sitting duck, or simply a dupe from de huppe, the hoopoe, an Old World bird, said to be more stupid than most.

    Hugh Rawson: Fowl Talk for the Holidays

  • The poem is impossible to translate, although I have seen a version with 'amwolf' and 'waswolf' and once, years ago, I found an English equivalent based on a hoopoe rather than a werewolf which then became 'whompoe' and 'whosepoe'.

    On be having

  • Above it were the roller and bee-eater and hoopoe, all fabulously Mediterranean with hot aureate colors that were not, even in the late 1960s, permitted in Britain yet, except under license to the kingfisher.

    A Year on the Wing

  • Wadi Al-Hitan is not separately noted but the desert species hoopoe lark Alaemon alaudipes, probably occurs.

    Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley), Egypt

  • It depicts a stream in a rocky environment with several partridges and a hoopoe (a small-medium bird with a distinctive crest).

    Minoans in Manhattan


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "The search for a national bird was organized by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and led by an Israeli ornithologist, Yossi Leshem. Dr. Leshem has created the International Center for Bird Migration in Latrun, the site of some very bloody battles in Israel’s War of Independence and home to a vast war memorial. The center’s hopeful slogan, printed in Hebrew, Arabic and English, is 'Migrating birds know no boundaries,' in contrast to the people on the ground, for whom boundaries are everything. This gives birdlife an added poignancy in Israel." -- NYT, "Will Peace Take Flight?", 6/10/08

    June 17, 2008

  • Nope--it's a real live bird, AZ. Fascinating creature. I hope to see a hoopoe some day. :-)

    A Rushdie list? Oooh. That'd be something.

    March 1, 2007

  • And here I thought this was a made up word in Salman Rushdie's "Haroun and the Sea of Stories." He did make up a bunch of words for that book, if I'm not mistaken. Someone must have a list.

    March 1, 2007