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From dialectal German Sisschen, Zeischen, diminutive form of Middle High German zisec, apparently ultimately from Proto-Slavic (compare e.g. Polish czyżyk).



siskin ‎(plural siskins)

  1. A small green and yellow European finch, Carduelis spinus spinus or Carduelis spinus, now often Spinus spinus.
    • 2001, Anthea Bell, translating WG Sebald, Austerlitz, Penguin 2011, p. 2:
      I sat there on a bench in dappled shade, beside an aviary full of brightly feathered finches and siskins fluttering about.
    • 2013 January 1, Paul Bartell, Ashli Moore, “Avian Migration: The Ultimate Red-Eye Flight”[1], American Scientist, volume 101, number 1, page 47–48:
      Many of these classic methods are still used, with some modern improvements. For example, with the aid of special microphones and automated sound detection software, ornithologists recently reported […] that pine siskins (Spinus pinus) undergo an irregular, nomadic type of nocturnal migration.
  2. Any of various similar birds in the genera Carduelis and Serinus.


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