• What larks! Killed four-and-twenty blackbirds all in a row! at one shot!!!
    What larks! Killed four-and-twenty blackbirds all in a row! at one shot!!!
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n blackbird common black European thrush
    • n blackbird any bird of the family Icteridae whose male is black or predominantly black
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Trapping Blackbirds Trapping Blackbirds
four and twenty blackbirds four and twenty blackbirds

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Blackbird A native of any of the islands near Queensland; -- called also Kanaka.
    • Blackbird Among slavers and pirates, a negro or Polynesian.
    • n Blackbird blăk"bẽrd (Zoöl) In England, a species of thrush (Turdus merula), a singing bird with a fin note; the merle. In America the name is given to several birds, as the Quiscalus versicolor, or crow blackbird; the Agelæus phœniceus, or red-winged blackbird; the cowbird; the rusty grackle, etc. See Redwing.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n blackbird The English name of a species of thrush, Merula merula, Turdus merula, or Merula vulgaris, common throughout Europe. It is larger than the common or song thrush; the male is wholly black, except the bill and the orbits of the eyes, which are yellow; the female is dark rusty-brown. The male has a fine, rich, mellow note, but its song has little compass or variety. Also called merle and ouzel.
    • n blackbird In America, a bird of the family Icteridæ (which see). These birds have no relation to the European blackbird, but are nearer the old-world starlings. There are very many species of the family, to several of which, as the bobolink, the oriole, and the meadow-lark, the term blackbird is not specifically applied. The leading species are the several crow-blackbirds, of the genera Quiscalus and Scolecophagus, and the marsh-blackbirds, Agelæus and Xanthocephalus. The common crow-blackbird is Q. purpureus; the common red-winged marsh-blackbird, A.phæniceus; the yellow-headed blackbird, X. icterocephalus. See cut under Agelæinæ.
    • n blackbird In the West Indies, the ani, Crotophaga ani, of the family Cuculidæ, or cuckoos; the savanna-blackbird. See cut under ani.
    • n blackbird A cant term on the coast of Africa for a slave.
    • n blackbird A native of the islands of Torres Strait.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Blackbird a species of thrush of a black colour: a current name for a negro or Polynesian kidnapped for labour
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. blac, blæc, black.


In literature:

The authorities, they get worried because a Kanaka's spree lands him, like as not, in a blackbirder.
"The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story" by Various
As for the White Blackbird, he tucked his little head under his wing and went fast asleep.
"The Wit and Humor of America, Volume III. (of X.)" by Various
I found a blackbird's nest with one egg in.
"Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front, 1914-1915" by Anonymous
He contented himself with hasty peeps into nests built by such smaller folk as Blackbirds and Robins.
"The Tale of Dickie Deer Mouse" by Arthur Scott Bailey
Perhaps the custom, in a Cornish village, of eating blackbird pie on Twelfth Day should be explained in the same way.
"Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan" by Clement A. Miles
As the people moved the ice cracked like a cannon shot, and they dispersed like blackbirds, to rally soon again.
"Bohemian Days" by Geo. Alfred Townsend
Birds were singing in the dripping trees, blackbirds were busy in the grass.
"A Maker of History" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
The silence deepened; in the heart of the wood a blackbird was piping madly on a blackthorn.
"Golden Stories" by Various
Watch me smash one of those blackbirds into dust.
"Frank Merriwell's Reward" by Burt L. Standish
She departed every morning beside the Laundryman, tugging at her arm, skipping and chattering like a blackbird in June.
"One Woman's Life" by Robert Herrick

In poetry:

Or bringing from the meadows,
At set of harvest-day,
The frolic of the blackbirds,
The sweetness of the hay.
"The Changeling ( From The Tent on the Beach )" by John Greenleaf Whittier
There the blackbird and the mavis
Together merrily do sing
In the forest of Baldovan,
Making the woodlands to ring.
"Baldovan" by William Topaz McGonagall
Sweet in the fresh green meadows
Sparrow and blackbird sung;
Above him their tinted petals
The blossoming orchards hung.
"The Minister’s Daughter" by John Greenleaf Whittier
All that I remember
From a dim and verdant spring
Long dead
Is, that one bright mouche of red
Patched a blackbird's wing.
"Bird of Long Ago" by Clark Ashton Smith
O blackbird in the orchard tree,
It cannot be, it cannot be,
That devils in a narrow cage
Would prison your melodic rage!
"Captivity" by Robert W Service
To us there are
eggs and there are
blackbirds. But there is the man,
too, trying without feathers
to incubate a solution.
"Thirteen Blackbirds Looking at a Man" by R S Thomas

In news:

Eighth blackbird , Fat Freddy's Drop, and Zirk Ubu.
Courtesy of The Eighth Blackbird .
The Eighth Blackbird , a Grammy-award winning chamber music band, will perform at The Loft Saturday.
But the Blackbird 's sounds of today can come from any scene — including the junkyard, where percussionist Matthew Duvall found clanky-pitched automobile brake drums.
Kaplan says Eighth Blackbird 's music is classical — except that instead of being written 200 years ago, it is being written today.
In Stray Cat Theater's new production of Blackbird , Vining reminds us that he's also a fine actor.
Dave Stewart Finds Inspiration in Nashville, Reese Witherspoon on ' Blackbird Diaries'.
William Petersen returns to Chicago to star in Blackbird .
William Petersen last performed at Victory Gardens Theater in 1998 and returns to appear in David Harrower's Blackbird , a gripping work based on the premise of the questions and complications of child abuse.
I don't run into too many Blackbirds , though I have run into some, and it's a strong name.
It's not like, "I have the name Blackbird so I've gotta join the Audubon Society".
A determined and aggressive blackbird spent the last several weeks dive bombing people in San Francisco's financial district as a tactic to defend its nearby nest.
Though NASA flew the Blackbirds through 1999, the SR-71 left US Air Force service in January 1990.
Hyde Park Theatre and Capital T Theatre come together to bring Blackbird to Austin.
The HP Blackbird Exhilaration Edition is more exasperating than exhilarating, as its performance lags similarly priced, better-equipped gaming systems.