Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 4 (1900).djvu/592

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558

THE ZOOLOGIST.

1892, and is still preserved in our collection here; the third was shot by Mr. C. Clarke, of Aldeburgh, in what we used to call the "First Mere," Nov. 8th, 1883, but I am unable to say in whose possession it now is. Our specimen was obtained quite by chance; three birds flew low over the mere within a long shot of me, and I fired at them, thinking them to be Curlew Sandpipers. A good many years have passed since then, but I well remember the intense delight with which I recognized my prize. It is just possible that Mr. Arnold's bird may prove to be the Siberian Pectoral Sandpiper (Tringa acuminata), of which two specimens have been obtained in Norfolk (Zool. 1892, pp. 356,405).— Julian G. Tuck (Tostock Rectory, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk).

The Names of British Birds.—Mr. Meiklejohn's notes on the names of British Birds are very interesting, but I am afraid that we must not allow it to be supposed that the name of the Fulmar has been borrowed from the Foumart or Foul Mart. That both the bird and mammal have a strong smell is true enough, but there the coincidence begins and ends. Fulmar is the Gaelic name of the bird, variously spelt, but derived from purely Gaelic sources (cf. Martin, 'Western Isles,' p. 283; Gray, 'Birds of the West of Scotland,' p. 499; Harvie-Brown and Buckley, 'A Fauna of the Outer Hebrides,' p. 156; Newton, 'Dictionary of Birds,' p. 295). References in support of this might be multiplied, but they are sufficiently obvious. This Petrel is the Ice Petrel (Eis-Sturmvogel) of German ornithologists, and the Petrel glacial of the French; but in Britain it is always recognized by its Gaelic name.—H.A. Macpherson (The Rectory, Pitlochry).

The Origin and Meaning of the Names of British Birds.—Mr. Meiklejohn's paper revives the discussion of an interesting subject. A valuable paper on the meaning of English Bird Names, by Mr. H.T. Wharton, is to be found in 'The Zoologist' for 1882, p. 441; and the same volume contains a note by Mr. Wharton on the etymology of Wigeon. Prof. Newton's 'Dictionary of Birds' may of course be consulted with great advantage, the derivation of many of the names being therein indicated, although the meaning of some of our bird-names seems very obscure. I should like to remark that Nuthatch means Nutcracker—hatch and crack being really the same. Pie (ante, p. 513) has surely some reference to the pied plumage of the Magpie and other birds. The Pied Woodpecker has been called the French Magpie, and Pie-Finch is a local name for the Chaffinch with conspicuous white about it. The connection between Pochard and Poacher sounds slighter when we remember that the ch in the former is hard, and that another form of the word is Poker. Is it not possible that the Knot may have been so called from its short, thick, chubby shape? Gull and Guillemot have, I should think, different origins, and may be