Old English pellicane, from Late Latin pelecanus, from Greek pelekan "pelican" (so used by Aristotle), apparently related to pelekas "woodpecker" and pelekys "ax," perhaps so called from the shape of the bird's bill. Spelling influenced in Middle English by Old French pelican. Used in Septuagint to translate Hebrew qaath. The fancy that it feeds its young on its own blood is an Egyptian tradition properly belonging to some other bird. Louisiana has been known as the Pelican state at least since 1859.
are frequently met with at the waters of Merom and the Sea of Galilee. The pelican is ranked among unclean birds (Lev. 11:18; Deut. 14:17). It is of an enormous size, being about 6 feet long, with wings stretching out over 12 feet. The Hebrew name (kaath, i.e., "vomiter") of this bird is incorrectly rendered "cormorant" in the Authorized Version of Isa. 34:11 and Zeph. 2:14, but correctly in the Revised Version. It receives its Hebrew name from its habit of storing in its pouch large quantities of fish, which it disgorges when it feeds its young. Two species are found on the Syrian coast, the Pelicanus onocrotalus, or white pelican, and the Pelicanus crispus, or Dalmatian pelican.