From the second element of yellow-ammer, favoured over hammer owing to the spelling of its German cognate and synonym Ammer (“bunting”). The -(h)ammer element may represent the Old English amore (given in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts as a gloss for the unidentified Latin word scorellus) or -hama (“natural integument”; whence the obsolete hame, of the same meaning); the plausibility of and the lack of conclusive evidence for either interpretation renders the prescriptive favouring of yellow-ammer over yellow-hammer unwarranted.
ammer (plural ammers)
- “Oxford English Dictionary [2nd Ed.; 1989] ” listed in the
- present tense of amme
- plural indefinite of