From Alexander Wilson's American Ornithology, 1824: "American Avocet . . . from its perpetual clamour and flippancy of tongue, is called, by the inhabitants of Cape May, the Lawyer." From Grinnell's Game Birds of California, 1918: "Together with the Black-necked Stilt, this bird is sometimes known as the 'lawyer bird' because of its long bill and its oft-repeated vociferations!"