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c.1300, from Old French hairon (12c.), earlier hairo (11c., Modern French héron), from Frankish *haigiro or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hraigran- (cf. Old High German heigaro "heron," German Reiher, Dutch reiger, Old Norse hegri), from PIE *qriq-, perhaps imitative of its cry (cf. Old Church Slavonic kriku "cry, scream," Lithuanian kryksti "to shriek"). Old English cognate hraga did not survive into Middle English.
(Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18), ranked among the unclean birds. The Hebrew name is _'anaphah_, and indicates that the bird so named is remarkable for its angry disposition. "The herons are wading-birds, peculiarly irritable, remarkable for their voracity, frequenting marshes and oozy rivers, and spread over the regions of the East." The Ardea russeta, or little golden egret, is the commonest species in Asia.