“Pigeon-hawk”

In English, the common names for some bird species have changed a lot over the decades. In Frachtenberg’s Siuslaw word list (published in “Lower Umpqua Texts” in 1914) he has a word for ‘pigeon hawk’ – qsii’i.

A quick google shows that the merlin (Falco columbarius), a small raptor, used to be called pigeon-hawk. They are fairly common in North America.

So this is the Siuslaw word of the day! qsii’i, the merlin.

About shichils

Just sharing some fun on language
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2 Responses to “Pigeon-hawk”

  1. Y says:

    In addition to contemporary zoology/botany books, I like the Century Dictionary for early 20th century American colloquial terms. It’s online, here: http://triggs.djvu.org/century-dictionary.com/splash3.html (in several formats; jpeg is the least troublesome). It defines pigeon-hawk as either Falco columbarius (e.g. merlin), or the sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter fuscus / A. velox, now A. striatus).

    • shichils says:

      This should be handy. When I was working on ethnobotany, I wouldn’t have made it without plantlist.org. They list all the scientific synonyms of a plant – and some plants have had a LOT of different names over the years!!

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