Parrot Names

The word 'parrot' dates from the early 16th century, around the time when American species were first being kept as pets by Europeans on both sides of the Atlantic. It is based on the French perrot and perroquet (as in 'parakeet'), which are diminutives of the name Pierre.

However, some etymologists have argued that 'perroquet' derives from the Italian parrocchetto, meaning a little parish priest, or, alternatively, from parrucchetto, a small periwig (which is the old name for a wig). The reference here would be to Cockatoos and Cockatiels with their wig-like crests.


Green-Winged and Blue and Gold Macaws
Green-winged and Blue and Gold Macaws - named after a Brazilian tree?

Before 1520, parrots were known as Popinjays in English. This was from an Old French name for the parrot, papegay, related to the Spanish papagayo, and Arabic babaghā. The word Popinjay was still being used in the 18th century, to describe a foolish, vain, over-talkative man. By that time the name 'parrot' was firmly associated with the birds.

Macaw comes from the old Portuguese name for the bird, macau, which itself comes from native Topi Brazilian macavuana. This was the local name for a type of palm tree whose fruits were favored by the macaws.

The words Lory and Lorikeet first appeared in Dutch, based on the Malay word for the birds, lūrī. Modern Spanish 'Loro' comes from this root.

The word Conure is from the Latin Conurus, which itself is from the Greek words kônos and ouros meaning 'cone-tailed'.

Parrot names in different languages

  • Afrikaans papegaai
  • Albanian papagall
  • Arabic ببغاء
  • Armenian թութակ
  • Azerbaijani tutuquşu
  • Basque loro
  • Belarusian папугай
  • Bengali তোতাপাখি
  • Bosnian papagaj
  • Bulgarian папагал
  • Catalan lloro
  • Chichewa chingolopiyo
  • Chinese Simplified 鹦鹉
  • Chinese Traditional 鸚鵡
  • Croatian papiga
  • Czech papoušek
  • Danish papegøje
  • Dutch papegaai
  • Esperanto papago
  • Estonian papagoi
  • Filipino loro
  • Finnish papukaija
  • French perroquet
  • Galician papagaio
  • Georgian tuti(qh)ushi
  • German Papagei
  • Greek παπαγάλος
  • Gujarati પોપટ
  • Haitian Creole jako
  • Hausa aku
  • Hebrew תוכי
  • Hindi तोता
  • Hmong leeb nkaub
  • Hungarian papagáj
  • Icelandic páfagaukur
  • Igbo okooko
  • Indonesian nuri
  • Irish pearóid
  • Italian pappagallo
  • Japanese 鸚鵡
  • Kannada ಗಿಣಿ
  • Kazakh тоты
  • Khmer សេក
  • Korean 앵무새
  • Latin psittacus
  • Latvian papagailis
  • Lithuanian papūga
  • Macedonian папагал
  • Malagasy boloky
  • Malay nuri
  • Malayalam തത്ത
  • Maltese pappagall
  • Maori kākā
  • Marathi पोपट
  • Mongolian тоть
  • Myanmar (Burmese) ကွကျတူရှေး
  • Nepali सुगा
  • Norwegian papegøye
  • Persian طوطی
  • Polish papuga
  • Portuguese papagaio
  • Romanian papagal
  • Russian попугай
  • Scots Gaelic piorraid
  • Serbian папагај
  • Slovak papagáj
  • Slovenian papiga
  • Somali baqbaqaaq
  • Spanish loro
  • Swahili Kasuku
  • Swedish papegoja
  • Tajik тутӣ
  • Tamil கிளி
  • Telugu చిలుక
  • Thai นกแก้ว
  • Turkish papağan
  • Ukrainian папуга
  • Urdu توتے
  • Uzbek to'tiqush
  • Vietnamese con két
  • Welsh parot
  • Yiddish פּאַפּוגייַ
  • Yoruba parrot
  • Zulu upholi

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