Definitions

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

  • noun A vain, talkative person.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A parrot.
  • noun A woodpecker; especially, the green wood-pecker of Europe, Gecinus viridis.
  • noun The figure of a parrot or other bird used as a mark for archery or firearms.
  • noun In heraldry, a parrot used as a bearing: always, unless otherwise mentioned in the blazon, represented green, with red legs and beak.
  • noun A coxcomb; a fop.

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

  • noun The green woodpecker.
  • noun A parrot.
  • noun Scot. A target in the form of a parrot.
  • noun A trifling, chattering, fop or coxcomb.

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

  • noun A strutting supercilious person; a coxcomb, dandy, fop.
  • noun dated A parrot
  • noun UK A green woodpecker, Picus viridis.
  • noun A wooden parrot, or similar object, stuck on a pole as a target to be shot at.
  • noun A heraldic (or other) representation of a parrot.

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

  • noun an archaic term for a parrot
  • noun a vain and talkative person (chatters like a parrot)

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, parrot, from Old French papegai, from Spanish papagayo or Old Provençal papagai, both from Arabic babg̣ā’, babag̣ā’, from Persian babbaghā.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French papegai ("a parrot"), either from Ancient Greek παπαγός (papagos) or from Spanish papagayo (also Modern Spanish), from Arabic babagha'.

Examples

  • _Item_, a pair of hose of popinjay green (they be well called popinjay) of thirty shillings.

    Joyce Morrell's Harvest The Annals of Selwick Hall

  • Hotspur's picture of this "popinjay" with pouncet-box in hand, and

    The Man Shakespeare

  • Might Hooper and Seidler have considered making Logue do the "popinjay" speech by

    The Guardian World News

  • Words come to mind that I can't print in their entirety, that the tribunal is full of petty popinjay chickens**ts.

    On Public Universities And Guns

  • A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.

    live-love-create

  • Words come to mind that I can't print in their entirety, that the tribunal is full of petty popinjay chickens**ts.

    On Public Universities And Guns

  • Leftists accused him of "betrayal," it continued, and quoted one who had described him as a "drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay".

    Christopher Hitchens: He died too young, with too much left to say | Nick Cohen

  • Defending the absurd notion that the windbaggery of Mr. Galloway is somehow a threat to our national security, a spokesperson for the virginal Jason Kenney, Alykhan Velshi, referred to Gorgeous George as "someone who has provided financial support to Hamas, a banned terrorist organization in Canada, and someone who is, in a sense, a popinjay for those Taliban fighters who are trying to kill Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan."

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • In 2005, George Galloway, UK Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, and ardent "pro-life" campaigner, famously referred to his arch-nemesis, Christopher Hitchens, as a "drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay."

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • That said, I cannot imagine she got the run around from popinjay Hitchens.

    Tony Blair: The Next Labour Prime Minister?

Comments

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  • NOUN: A vain, talkative person.

    ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, parrot, from Old French papegai, from Spanish papagayo or Old Provençal papagai, both from Arabic bab’, baba’, from Persian babbagh.

    July 18, 2007

  • Also a nickname for the Green Woodpecker. See also: yaffle.

    December 7, 2007

  • or fop

    December 5, 2008