sheldrake

sheldrake

[shel-dreyk]
noun, plural sheldrakes (especially collectively) sheldrake.
1.
any of several Old World ducks of the genus Tadorna, certain species of which have highly variegated plumage.
2.
any of various other ducks, especially the goosander or merganser.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English sheldedrake, equivalent to sheld particolored + drake drake1

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World English Dictionary
shelduck or (masculine) sheldrake (ˈʃɛlˌdʌk, ˈʃɛlˌdreɪk)
 
n , pl -ducks, -duck, -drakes, -drake
any of various large usually brightly coloured gooselike ducks, such as Tadorna tadorna (common shelduck), of the Old World
 
[C14 shel, probably from dialect sheld pied; related to Middle Dutch schillede variegated]
 
sheldrake or (masculine) sheldrake
 
n
 
[C14 shel, probably from dialect sheld pied; related to Middle Dutch schillede variegated]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sheldrake
early 14c., from sheld- "variegated" + drake "male duck." First element cognate with M.Du. schillede, W.Flem. schilde, from schillen (Du. verschillen "to make different"), from P.Gmc. *skeli-, from PIE base *(s)kel- "to cut." This is considered the most likely origin, though
English sheld by itself is a dialect word attested only from c.1500.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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