penguin

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English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia
a penguin

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unknown origin[1]. Possibly from Welsh pen (head) and gwyn (white), or from Latin pinguis (fat). See citations and the Wikipedia page.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

penguin (plural penguins)

  1. Any of several flightless sea birds, of order Sphenisciformes, found in the Southern Hemisphere; marked by their usual upright stance, walking on short legs, and (generally) their stark black and white plumage. [from 16th c.]
    • 1638, Thomas Herbert, Some Yeares Travels, I:
      Here are also birds cal'd Pen-gwins (white-head in Welch) like Pigmies walking upright, their finns or wings hanging very orderly downe like sleeves [...].
  2. (slang) A nun (association through appearance, because of the black and white habit).
  3. (juggling) A type of catch where the palm of the hand is facing towards the leg with the arm stretched downward, resembling the flipper of a penguin.
  4. A spiny bromeliad with egg-shaped fleshy fruit, Bromelia pinguin.
    • 1803, Robert Charles Dallas, The History of the Maroons, London: Longman and Rees, Volume 1, Letter 4, p. 82,[1]
      These productive patches, and the houses, were each surrounded by a fence, made of a prickly shrub, called the Pinguin, which propagates itself with great rapidity.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ T.F. Hoad, Concise Dictionary of English Etymology, →ISBN; headword penguin

Further reading[edit]