think the majority of eponymous bird names are awkward. They are also mostly
biologically irrelevant and often expressions of colonial obsequiousness,
especially if not named for someone who actually contributed. They still
mostly contain the correct apostrophe use, although some names like
Gouldian Finch (instead of Gould's Finch) by pass that. Though he named
that for his wife. Eponymous place names now almost all do not retain the
correct apostrophe use (e.g. Batemans Bay should surely be Bateman's
Bay, or if that is not what it means, then Batemen
history appears convincing that Australian King-Parrot should be King’s Parrot but being a big parrot it really becomes so
much easier to think of it as the latter and would look odd to call it the
former, even though formerly more formally correct. As I see it, subsequent
to that, the hyphen only makes sense on the basis that it takes King-Parrot as a group name, so as to
include other species, not from Australia. As such, it abandons the original
eponymous meaning of the name. As for King Vulture and no doubt several other
species, surely they would be named for an impression of features of the
creature (like King Penguin & Emperor Penguin), rather than eponymous
reasons (a particular king or someone with that name).
being labelled ‘Tabuan Parrot’ in Phillip’s Voyage (1789) and White’s
Journal (1790), the bird was labelled ‘King’s Parrot’ in the notes that
George Caley sent to Vigors and Horsfield for their work on Australian
birds. Caley also used ‘King Parrot’, apparently a reference to King in
the same sense. Caley had arrived in the colony with Governor King in
April 1800 (4 months after JW Lewin) and left in 1810. It is tempting to
think that the pet King Parrot shown in Hunter’s sketchbook might have belonged
to King (his fellow officer). However King was at Norfolk Island for nearly all
his first two periods in Australia (1788-17900; 1791-1796). King succeeded
Hunter as governor in September 1800, and himself returned to England in
1806. It seems likely the term ‘King’s Parrot’ (or ‘King Parrot’) came
into use between 1800 and 1806.
Sent: Saturday, 19 April 2014 8:30 PM
To: David McDonald
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds]
Another new book of bird words: 'The Eponym Dictionary of
I feel one of Geoffrey Dabb's lectures on the origin of the
name King Parrot coming on.
Time for a refresher on that
Are you amongst Greg Hunt's "increasingly
hysterical environmental activists"?
If not, why not?
The Great Barrier
Reef decision of 31 January 2014 is a travesty.
On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 10:03 AM, David McDonald (personal)