1520s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal Middle French perrot, from a variant of Pierre "Peter;" or perhaps a dialectal form of perroquet (see parakeet). Replaced earlier popinjay. The German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in South America in 1800 encountered a very old parrot that was the sole speaker of a dead Indian language, the original tribe having gone extinct.
"repeat without understanding," 1590s, from parrot (n.). Related: Parroted; parroting.