magpie

Definitions

  • magpie in fir branches
    magpie in fir branches
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n magpie long-tailed black-and-white crow that utters a raucous chattering call
    • n magpie an obnoxious and foolish and loquacious talker
    • n magpie someone who collects things that have been discarded by others
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Dog barking at a magpie Dog barking at a magpie
THE PEACOCK AND THE MAGPIE THE PEACOCK AND THE MAGPIE

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Magpie A talkative person; a chatterbox.
    • n Magpie (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of the genus Pica and related genera, allied to the jays, but having a long graduated tail.☞ The common European magpie (Pica pica, or Pica caudata) is a black and white noisy and mischievous bird. It can be taught to speak. The American magpie (Pica Hudsonica) is very similar. The yellow-belled magpie (Pica Nuttalli) inhabits California. The blue magpie (Cyanopolius Cooki) inhabits Spain. Other allied species are found in Asia. The Tasmanian and Australian magpies are crow shrikes, as the white magpie (Gymnorhina organicum), the black magpie (Strepera fuliginosa), and the Australian magpie (Cracticus picatus).
    • Magpie Any one of several black-and-white birds, such as Gymnorhina tibicen, not belonging to the genus Pica.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n magpie A well-known bird of Europe, Asia, and America, of the genus Pica and family Corvidœ; the Pica pica, P. rustica, P. caudata, or P. hudsonica. This pie is lustrous-black, with green, purple, violet, and golden iridescence; the under parts from breast to crissum, the scapulars, and a great part of the inner webs of the primaries are white; the bill and feet are black. The bird is from 15 to 20 inches long, according to the development of the tail, which is 12 inches or less in length, extremely graduated; the stretch of wings is about 2 feet. Magpies are omnivorous, like most corvine and garruline birds, and noted for their craftiness, kleptomania, and mimicry. They nest in trees and shrubs, building a very bulky structure, and lay from 6 to 9 pale-drab eggs, dotted, dashed, and blotched with brown. As a book-name, magpie is extended to all the species of Pica and some few related pies or jays with long tails. The yellow-billed magpie of California is P. nuttalli. Blue magpies are certain long-tailed jays of the genus Cyanopolius, as C. cyanus of eastern Asia and Japan, or C. cooki of Spain; also of the genus Urocissa, as U. erythrorhyncha, the red-billed blue magpie of the Orient, The bird called French magpie is the red-backed shrike, Lanius colluro. The name magpie, or magpie-pigeon, is given to a strain of domestic pigeons bred to colors resembling those of the magpie. Magpie is often used adjectively with reference to some characteristic of the bird.
    • n magpie The magpie-shrike.
    • n magpie A halfpenny.
    • n magpie A bishop: so called from the black and white of his robes.
    • n magpie Among British marksmen, a shot striking that division of the target which is next to the outermost when the target is divided into four sections: so called because the markers indicate this hit by means of a black and white disk.
    • n magpie A breed of small domesticated pigeons having the head, the under side of the body, and the long flight-feathers white, and the rest of the plumage clear black, red, yellow, or blue: the line between the two colors should be sharply defined. The name is derived from the suggestion of a magpie found in the black-and-white variety.
    • n magpie A black-and-white costume for women in which the contrasts are very marked, the masses of color being large.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Magpie mag′pī a chattering bird, of a genus allied to the crow, with pied or coloured feathers:
    • n Magpie mag′pī (slang) a halfpenny
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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 analogous names Tomtit, and Jackdaw
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Mag, a familiar contr. of Margaret (cf. Robin-Redbreast, Jenny Wren), pie, from L. pica, a magpie—pingĕre, pictum, to paint.

Usage

In literature:

Two Magpies on a tree were among the onlookers.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
One might as well live in a cage o' magpies at once, and ha' done with it.
"It Might Have Been" by Emily Sarah Holt
I suppose she is as inquisitive as a magpie?
"The Mission of Janice Day" by Helen Beecher Long
Could that be the wild beasts of which the magpie had warned him?
"Fifty-Two Stories For Girls" by Various
In some respects the magpies are striking birds.
"Birds of the Rockies" by Leander Sylvester Keyser
A great chattering as of many magpies ensued.
"Her Mother's Secret" by Emma D. E. N. Southworth
All gone now, even almost all the prairie dogs and maybe the magpies; and we haven't seen any young wild geese on our trip, either.
"The Young Alaskans on the Missouri" by Emerson Hough
His track was from Colnbrook, and to return to near the Magpies.
"The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor" by Samuel James Arnold
He quickly commenced operations with his plant at Magpie Gully, about half-a-mile from the town.
"Reminiscences of Queensland" by William Henry Corfield
In this part there was a very old inn bearing the name The Magpie and Stump.
"Chelsea" by G. E. (Geraldine Edith) Mitton
Some time de thief he swing in de wind, and de magpie pick at him, and de coyote jump at him.
"'Me-Smith'" by Caroline Lockhart
But the Magpie only whistled.
"Little Folks (October 1884)" by Various
Many tame pigeons and a few magpies, but hardly any other bird-life.
"Through Siberia and Manchuria By Rail" by Oliver George Ready
There would be no difficulty in finding nests, we thought, for we came upon magpies everywhere in our walks.
"A Bird-Lover in the West" by Olive Thorne Miller
The Maids and the Magpie, 91.
"Little Folks (December 1884)" by Various
The magpie was the first pet of her own she had ever had, and she loved it.
"The Beth Book" by Sarah Grand
MAGPIE 11/00 5/02 Lieut.
"History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902 v. 1 (of 4)" by Frederick Maurice
There is a popular superstition that it is unlucky for an angler to meet a single magpie, but two of the birds together are a good omen.
"Harper's Young People, November 4, 1879" by Various
The magpies attracted my attention to it.
"Whispering Smith" by Frank H. Spearman
She was awakened by the shrill chatter of the magpies in the tall pine near her window.
"The Heart of Thunder Mountain" by Edfrid A. Bingham
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In poetry:

The nest magpie wove
Now filled by the dove.
This bride now takes to her home her way;
And these numerous cars her state display.
"The Marriage Of A Princess" by Confucius
Thrice he roll'd that noble eye,
Which looketh o'er his nose so sly;
As looks a magpie on a tree,
When coming shooter it doth see.
"The Watch And Ward." by Samuel Bamford
Magpies twelve upon the mast
Call aloud to wave and blast"
"Bonnily on Morvern shore
Shall we feast when all is o'er!"
Wind and wave are wild in Morvern.
"The Witch Of Mull" by Cicely Fox Smith
The maid that is gentle will make a kind wife;
The magpie that prateth will stir thee to strife:
'Twere better to tarry,
Unless thou canst marry
To sweeten the bitters of life!
"The Old Man's Song" by Thomas Cooper
Out uv dark corners, voices 'ere an' there
Break sudden with a jabberin' sing-song,
Like magpies flutin' on the mornin' air.
We pays no 'eed to them, but plug along,
Twistin' an' turnin' through them secret ways,
Like in a maze.
"'Ave a 'eart!" by C J Dennis
Tho' chin-deep in sorrow, yet fun he lov'd well;
A pie-man pass'd near, crying "Pies" at his aise;
"Here are pies of all sorts."—"Oh! if all sorts you sell,
Then a twopenny magpie for me, if you plaise!"
Oh! poor Molly O'Flannagan!
"An Irish Song" by Sir John Carr

In news:

As second-grade students from East Elementary School in McConnelsville "walked the plank" that led to the Nina and the Pinta replica ships moored at Marietta Harbor Friday, they chattered like magpies.
All Creatures Great and Small had first contacted Claudia Kaminski, who breeds "Hounds of the Magpie" bloodhounds in Milford, N.J. "It was an experience.
Remember when we posted about Magpie Artisan Pie Bakery & Boutique.
Janel Inouye and Ed Roehr own Magpie Cafe.
But what if this seemingly simple little item on Magpie 's menu turns out to be the best breakfast sandwich you've ever had.
From the Street to a Home Magpie 's Story.
Magpie starts his journey to a new home on the streets of LA.
The Magpie Trial Collaborative Group.
They screeched like magpies for a day or so and then let it go.
Betty Falk, left, and Betty Waffle put their heads together for a good laugh at Cafe Magpie, the once-monthly women's breakfast held at the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center.
Watch Collingwood Magpies vs Sydney Swans Live Streaming AFL 2012 Online Finals 21 Sep ANZ.
The birds included three red-whiskered bul-buls, four magpie robins and six shama thrushes.
Magpie Cafe opened two years ago at a very high level and with even higher aspirations.
Magpie was one of three wolves who visited us.
(So far, dolphins, magpies, some primates, and an elephant have passed the test.
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In science:

Video captions can be created using Magpie 2, a free software program available for download from the National Center for Accessible Media. While Magpie is free and produces suitable captions, it is not particularly easy to use.
Technical paper: Collecting classroom video on a budget
Magpie requires the installation of the QuickTime player and the latest version of Java.
Technical paper: Collecting classroom video on a budget
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