popinjay

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n popinjay an archaic term for a parrot
    • n popinjay a vain and talkative person (chatters like a parrot)
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Popinjay (Zoöl) A parrot.
    • Popinjay A target in the form of a parrot.
    • Popinjay A trifling, chattering, fop or coxcomb. "To be so pestered with a popinjay ."
    • Popinjay (Zoöl) The green woodpecker.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n popinjay A parrot.
    • n popinjay A woodpecker; especially, the green wood-pecker of Europe, Gecinus viridis.
    • n popinjay The figure of a parrot or other bird used as a mark for archery or firearms. For this purpose, it was usually hung to the top of a pole so as to swing in the wind.
    • n popinjay In heraldry, a parrot used as a bearing: always, unless otherwise mentioned in the blazon, represented green, with red legs and beak.
    • n popinjay A coxcomb; a fop.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Popinjay pop′in-jā a parrot: a mark like a parrot, put on a pole to be shot at: a fop or coxcomb.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. popingay, papejay, OF. papegai, papegaut,; cf. Pr. papagai, Sp. & Pg. papagayo, It. pappagallo, LGr. , NGr. ; in which the first syllables are perhaps imitative of the bird's chatter, and the last either fr. L. gallus, cock, or the same word as E. jay, F. geai,. Cf. Papagay
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. papegai—Low L. papagallus—Late Gr. papagas, a parrot; prob. Eastern.

Usage

In literature:

The Countess of Torquay and her sister, Mrs. Pygmalion Popinjay, were at the Earl's Court Exhibition on Wednesday.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, July 22, 1914" by Various
He perceived that this fussy lawyer was not wholly a popinjay, for it required courage to insult a pirate to his face.
"Blackbeard: Buccaneer" by Ralph D. Paine
All the popinjays in the South Seas be fools to him.
"Joyce Morrell's Harvest" by Emily Sarah Holt
As for this young Popinjay, he will have more need to protect himself than these Kingdoms.
"The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 1 of 3" by George Augustus Sala
Thy popinjay is a traitor, and his crimes have found him out!
"The Panchronicon" by Harold Steele Mackaye
No insult is intended, my young popinjay.
"Romance of Roman Villas" by Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney
Did you hear her treat me like a popinjay?
"Tartuffe" by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere
First, Mr. Adolphus Popinjay is goin' to do some gymnastics with the trapeze.
"Harper's Young People, July 20, 1880" by Various
I say he is a popinjay, with all his learning.
"Hetty's Strange History" by Helen Jackson
Was this insolent young popinjay to win at last?
"The Harbor of Doubt" by Frank Williams
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In poetry:

"O gin I had a popinjay
To fly abune my head,
To tell me what I ought to say,
I had by this been wed.
"The Lang Coortin'" by Lewis Carroll
"O hush thee, gentle popinjay!
O hush thee, doggie dear!
There is a word I fain wad say,
It needeth he should hear!"
"The Lang Coortin'" by Lewis Carroll
"There's one that standeth at the door,
And tirleth at the pin:
Now speak and say, my popinjay,
If I sall let him in."
"The Lang Coortin'" by Lewis Carroll
Shrill and more shrill the popinjay
Upraised his angry squall:
I trow the doggie's voice that day
Was louder than them all!
"The Lang Coortin'" by Lewis Carroll
"No more such! . . . My species are dwindling,
My forests grow barren,
My popinjays fail from their tappings,
My larks from their strain.
"The Mother Mourns." by Thomas Hardy
The popinjay screamed from tree to tree,
Then was lost in the burnished leaves;
The sky was as blue as a southern sea,
And the swallow came back to the eaves.
"The Fallen Elm" by Alfred Austin

In news:

I f splendid food comes first, with points for local-idol sightings, we'll write off the painful din at Commerce and tonight's overanxious Mary Popinjay server and just shower this historic-landmark spot with raves.
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