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Etymology 1[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]


drongo (plural drongos)

  1. Any bird of the family Dicruridae.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From an Australian racehorse named Drongo, apparently after the bird (specifically, after the spangled drongo, Dicrurus bracteatus). The horse (foaled 1921, retired 1925) ran poorly, and by transference anyone slow-witted or clumsy became a drongo.[1]

  • Alternatively, from putative RAAF slang drongo (a recruit), similarly after the bird.[2]
  • Another suggested derivation is the Scottish Gaelic drongair (drunkard).


drongo (plural drongos)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand, slang, pejorative) A fool, an idiot.
    • 2010, Graham Seal, Great Australian Stories: Legends, Yarns and Tall Tales, page 191,
      In another story, the drongo is working for a farmer when the boss decides it is time to build another windmill. The drongo agrees to help but asks the farmer if he thinks it really makes sense to have two windmills. ‘What do you mean?’ the farmer asked. ‘Well, says the drongo, ‘there′s barely enough wind to operate the one you already have, so I doubt there′ll be enough to work two of them.’
    • 2010, John Timpson, Upside Down Management: A Common Sense Guide to Better Business, unnumbered page,
      One drongo executive can do harm enough, but things get worse when they start recruiting people like themselves.



  1. ^ "Drongo", entry in 1970, Bill Wannan, Australian Folklore, Lansdowne Press, reprint 1979, ISBN 0-7018-1309-1, page 200.
  2. ^ "drongo", entry in 2007, Eric Partridge, Tom Dalzell, Terry Victor, The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, page 120.