magpie

\ \ [17] The original name of the magpie was simply pie, which came via Old French from Latin pīca. This is thought to go back ultimately to Indo-European *spi- or *pi-, denoting ‘pointedness’, in reference to its beak (the Latin masculine form, pīcus, was applied to a ‘woodpecker’). Pie arrived in English as long ago as the 13th century, but not until the 16th century do we begin to find pet-forms of the name Margaret applied to it (one of the earliest was maggot-pie). By the 17th century magpie had become the institutionalized form.
\ \ Some etymologists consider that the term for the edible pie comes from the bird’s name, based on a comparison of the miscellaneous contents of pies with the board of assorted stolen treasures supposedly accumulated by the magpie.
\ \ Cf.PIE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Magpie — Mag pie, n. [OE. & Prov. E. magot pie, maggoty pie, fr. Mag, Maggot, equiv. to Margaret, and fr. F. Marquerite, and common name of the magpie. Marguerite is fr. L. margarita pearl, Gr. ?, prob. of Eastern origin. See {Pie} magpie, and cf. the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Magpie — (engl. für „Elster“) bezeichnet: Magpie (Québec), Dorf in der Gemeinde Rivière Saint Jean in der Regionalgemeinde Minganie, Québec, Kanada Rivière Magpie, Nebenfluss des Sankt Lorenz Stroms in Québec, Kanada Magpie River, Fluss zum Oberen See in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Magpie — ( Pie bavarde en français) est un village du Québec, au Canada, située sur la Cote Nord, entre Rivière au Tonnerre et Rivière Saint Jean. Il est une localité dans la municipalité de Rivière Saint Jean. Magpie compte près de 200 habitants[1].… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • magpie — (n.) the common European bird, known for its chattering, c.1600, earlier simply pie (early 13c.); first element from MAG (Cf. Mag), nickname for Margaret, long used in proverbial and slang English for qualities associated generally with women,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • magpie — ► NOUN 1) a long tailed bird of the crow family with pied plumage and a raucous voice. 2) a black and white Australian butcher bird with musical calls. 3) a person who obsessively collects things or who chatters idly. ORIGIN probably a shortening …   English terms dictionary

  • Magpie — A term describing black and white effects upon laces and veiling …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • magpie — [mag′pī΄] n. [< Mag, dim. of MARGARET + PIE3] 1. any of several jaylike corvids, passerine birds characterized by black and white coloring, a long, tapering tail, and a habit of noisy chattering 2. a person who chatters 3. a person who… …   English World dictionary

  • Magpie — This article is about the birds in the family Corvidae. For the Australasian bird in the family Artamidae, see Australian Magpie. For other uses, see Magpie (disambiguation). Magpies European Magpie …   Wikipedia

  • magpie — /mag puy /, n. 1. either of two corvine birds, Pica pica (black billed magpie), of Eurasia and North America, or P. nuttalli (yellow billed magpie), of California, having long, graduated tails, black and white plumage, and noisy, mischievous… …   Universalium

  • magpie — /ˈmægpaɪ / (say magpuy) noun 1. Also, Australian magpie. a common black and white bird, Gymnorhina tibicen, with a solid body, strong legs, and a large pointed bill, found throughout Australia and in New Guinea, and noted for its beautiful song… …   Australian English dictionary

  • magpie — [17] The original name of the magpie was simply pie, which came via Old French from Latin pīca. This is thought to go back ultimately to Indo European *spi or *pi , denoting ‘pointedness’, in reference to its beak (the Latin masculine form, pīcus …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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