Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
Old English næctigalæ, nihtegale, compound formed in Proto-Germanic (cf. Dutch nachtegaal, German Nachtigall) from *nakht- "night" (see night) + *galon "to sing," related to Old English giellan "yell" (see yell). With parasitic -n- that appeared mid-13c. Dutch nightingale "frog" is attested from 1769. In Japanese, "nightingale floor" is said to be the term for boards that creak when you walk on them.
French rossignol (Old French lousseignol) is, with Spanish ruiseñor, Portuguese rouxinol, Italian rosignuolo, from Vulgar Latin *rosciniola, dissimilated from Latin lusciniola "nightingale," diminutive of luscinia "nightingale."
Nightingale Night·in·gale (nīt'n-gāl', nī'tĭng-), Florence. 1820-1910.
British nurse who organized (1854) and directed a unit of field nurses during the Crimean War and is considered the founder of modern nursing.