Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
1660s, from Latin upupa, imitative of its cry (cf. Greek epops "hoopoe").
If anybody smears himself with the blood of this bird on his way to bed, he will have nightmares about suffocating devils. [Cambridge bestiary, 12c.]
(Upupa epops), strikingly crested bird found from southern Europe and Africa to southeastern Asia, the sole member of the family Upupidae of the roller order, Coraciiformes. About 28 centimetres (11 inches) long, it is pinkish brown on the head and shoulders, with a long, black-tipped, erectile crest and black-and-white barred wings and tail. The hoopoe takes insects and other small invertebrates by probing the ground with its long, downcurved bill. Some systems of classification recognize one other species (U. africana), found from Ethiopia to South Africa.