whip-poorwill

whippoorwill

[hwip-er-wil, wip-; hwip-er-wil, wip-]
noun
a nocturnal North American nightjar, Caprimulgus vociferus, having a variegated plumage of gray, black, white, and tawny.

Origin:
1700–10, Americanism; imitative

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World English Dictionary
whippoorwill (ˈwɪpʊˌwɪl)
 
n
a nightjar, Caprimulgus vociferus, of North and Central America, having a dark plumage with white patches on the tail
 
[C18: imitative of its cry]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

whippoorwill
1709, imitative of its cry.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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