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Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French gai (like English jay), from Late Latin gaius (jay), plausibly echoic and supposedly influenced by the Roman common given name Gaius (=Caius, which in turn has been hypothetically derived from gaudeō, gaudēre (rejoice) or from gaius (jay), while the French may well derive from gai (lively, jolly), itself of Germanic origin.


gaai m (plural gaaien, diminutive gaaitje n)

  1. (zoology) The jaybird, Garrulus glandarinus, a woodland corvine species

Etymology 2[edit]

A parallel form of papagaai (parrot), by popular etymology confused with etymology 1, but actually from Middle Dutch papagoie, papegoie, from Arabic بَبّغَاء (babbağā’) and Persian بپغا (bapğâ), of uncertain origin.


gaai m (plural gaaien, diminutive gaaitje n)

  1. A wooden, somewhat bird-shaped target, often ornamented with bright plumes, used in archery competitions
  2. The high wooden stake or tower the above is mounted on
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Germanic, a parallel form of gade (spouse) (cognate with German Gatte).


gaai f (plural gaaien, diminutive gaaitje n or gaaike n)

  1. (uncommon) A female spouse, notably (and mostly used in the diminutive):
    1. a female bird
    2. a female fish
    3. (humorous) a human mistress or wife