Albert Lyrebird

Subject: Albert Lyrebird
From: John Leonard <>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 08:58:20 +1000
I suppose the reason that the Albert Lyrebird stayed around was the hope that
if it did stay long enough people would begin to understand 'Albert' as an
adjective. But with proper names I think this doesn't happen, the force of
their original signification being so strong, and the only possible meaning
that 'Albert Lyrebird' can have is 'a lyrebird whose name is Albert', on the
analogy of Peter Rabbit and Pooh Bear. What 'The Albert Lyrebird' means is
anyone's guess.

In Latin you couldn't name this species Melanura albertius, which would mean
just what I said before 'The lyrebird whose name is Albert' (cf Gerygone
mouki), but Melanura albertii ('the lyrebird belonging to Albert'). (I don't
know what its scientific  name actually is, this is just an example).

And as for Princess Parrot- I'm sure most people who don't know about
Princess Alexandra think it is so called because it is so beautiful it looks
like a (fairy-tale) princess.

Perhaps the answer is for people to stop giving  English names containing
people's names to birds and stick to descriptive names. People like Gould and
Mayr have their work and various scientific names to commemorate them and
don't need any other commemoration. Members of the royal family have other

John Leonard

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