magpie

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mag·pie / ˈmagˌpī/ • n. 1. a long-tailed crow with boldly marked plumage and a raucous voice. Five genera and several species include the black-and-white black-billed magpie (Pica pica) of Eurasia and North America. 2. used in similes or comparisons to refer to a person who collects things, esp. things of little value, or a person who chatters idly.

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Magpie

The chattering of a magpie was formerly considered a sure omen of evil. Another folk belief was that the croaking of a single magpie around a house signified that one of the inhabitants would soon die. In parts of Britain and Ireland it was believed that evil could be averted by being respectful to a magpie bowing or doffing one's hat. Irish folk would sometimes say "Good morning, your reverence" on seeing a magpie first thing in the morning. The magpie also figured in the folklore of the American Indians and was a clan animal among the Hopis.

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magpie the magpie is traditionally attracted by bright objects which it can steal. It is used in similes or comparisons to refer to a person who collects things, especially of little use or value, or a person who chatters idly. In traditional belief, it was also sometimes regarded as a bird of ill-omen, as in the saying one for sorrow.

The name is recorded from the late 16th century, and is probably a shortening of dialect maggot the pie, maggoty-pie, from Magot (Middle English pet form of the given name Marguerite) + pie (ultimately from Latin pica ‘magpie’).

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magpie Bird of the crow family, closely related to the jay, found mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. The common magpie (Pica pica) has a chattering cry, a long greenish-black tail and short wings. It has a clearly defined white underside with black above. Length: 46cm (18in). Family Corvidae.

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magpie XVII. f. Mag, pet-form of Margaret + PIE1.

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magpie •magpie • Philippi • sweetie-pie •occupy