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Common buzzard, Buteo buteo, an Old World buzzard
American black vulture, Coragyps atratus


From Anglo-Norman buisart, from Old French buison, buson (French buse), possibly from Latin buteō.



buzzard ‎(plural buzzards)

  1. Any of several Old World birds of prey of the genus Buteo with broad wings and a broad tail.
  2. In North America, a general term for scavenging birds such as the American black vulture (Coragyps atratus), and the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura).
  3. (colloquial, derogatory, slang, often preceded by "old", the "old buzzard") A curmudgeonly or cantankerous man; an old person; a mean, greedy person.
  4. (archaic) A blockhead; a dunce.
    • 1640, George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum; or, Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, etc., in The Remains of that Sweet Singer of the Temple George Herbert, London: Pickering, 1841, p. 142,[1]
      An old man’s shadow is better than a young buzzard’s sword.
    • 1774, Oliver Goldsmith, Animated Nature, Volume 6, Index,[2]
      It is common, to a proverb, to call one who can not be taught, or who continues obstinately ignorant, a buzzard.

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