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From Middle High German ûr-han, from Old High German ūr-huon (variant of orre-huon), from Proto-West Germanic *ūrʀahōn, from a compound of the Proto-Germanic elements *urzô (black grouse ~ capercaillie) +‎ *hōną (hen) (see Huhn), literally "grouse-hen", referring to the bird's call. The first element, which is cognate with Swedish orre and Faroese orri, is possibly from Proto-Indo-European *wérsō (virile, male; male livestock animal, bull calf). Cognate with German Low German Urhane and Dutch woerhaan (< *worʀahanō).


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Auerhuhn n (genitive Auerhuhns or Auerhuhnes, plural Auerhühner)

  1. capercaillie, wood grouse (Tetrao urogallus)


Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Auerhuhn” in Duden online
  • Kroonen, Guus (2013), “*urzan-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 561