popinjay

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English popinjay, popyngeay, popingay, popejay, from Anglo-Norman papegai, papejoie et al., (northern) Old French papejai (parrot), probably from Old Occitan papagay (compare Occitan papagai, Catalan papagai), ultimately from Arabic بَبْغَاء(babḡāʾ, parrot), of imitative origin.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

popinjay (plural popinjays)

  1. (now archaic outside heraldry) A parrot. [from 14th c.; in heraldry from 15th c.]
  2. (obsolete) A decorative image of a parrot on a tapestry, cloth etc. [14th-16th c.]
  3. A vain, gaudy person; someone who is shallow or superficial. [from 16th c.]
  4. (archery) A target to shoot at, typically stuffed with feathers or plumage. [from 16th c.]
  5. (Britain) The green woodpecker, Picus viridis. [from 19th c.]

Translations[edit]