By memory, wind f**kers is listed in the Oxford Dictionary to British Bird
Names (as mentioned previously in this stream). The book is at home so I
can't check but I think it provides an ample description of the derivation.
It is a name I once corrupted for use instead of kestrel (nankeen that is)
among some of the more crass of my birding friends (actually that's all of
them) some time ago as a rebellion against the conservatism among common
names for Australian birds.
I'm always happy to rant at great length about how much I hate the use of
words such as magpie, robin and wren for birds not remotely related to the
original bearers of such names. I won't even begin to describe how I loath
shrike-thrush and shrike-tit etc.
I'm too busy today to venture down this path once more and hence you will
all be spared my bile. Count your blessings.
On Behalf Of Peter Shute
Sent: Thursday, 26 July 2007 9:30 AM
To: Tim Dolby; ; Philip Veerman
Subject: What is in a name?
wrote on Wednesday, 25 July 2007 6:02
> I actually still use the name Little Falcon, which I think I
> prefer, despite the bird being officially known as an
> Australian Hobby for most of my life. This stems from when I
> birded with my dad as a kid. (In preference I may start using
> the Latin name, Falco longipennis.)
No, no, don't do that, you'll frighten people! I just remembered I once
read that kestrels were called "wind f***ers" several hundred years ago,
meaning "wind beater", but this usage obviously died out as the f word
became obscene. Not that many referrences to this on the web, which
makes me suspect that perhaps this is an urban myth. The Wikipedia
people seem suspicious too:
But I did find this reference to it:
Has anyone else heard of this? I assumed it was true when I read it
(not on the internet, maybe in a newspaper), but I'm wondering now if
it's one of those myths that people just perpetuate by repeating without
checking, with the result that it becomes "common knowledge".
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