The origin of the name 'Rosella'

Subject: The origin of the name 'Rosella'
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 23:00:34 +1100
On Sat, Dec 15, 2007 at 09:41:26PM +1100, Dr Richard Nowotny wrote:
> "John Gould, the famous bird artist, visited Adelaide in 1838. He was
> particularly charmed by the rosellas and first used this name in his book
> The Birds of Australia (1840-48). Most likely the name is derived from
> ''Rose Hill Parakeet'' the original name of the eastern
> rosella. This was later shortened to ''rose-hiller'', and then rosella.
> However, there is another possibility. In old shooting lists of 1830, these
> parrots were called rosetta* parrots. The word rosella first appeared in the
> diaries of John Gilbert, who was one of Gould's collectors. It may have been
> a simple slip of the pen - from rosetta to rosella."

Google Books turns up a use of "rosella" redating Gilbert (1834 "The
Hobart Town Magazine") so he didn't create the word with a diary typo.
Google books turns also turns up an 1825 use of "Rose hill Parrot" for
the Eastern Rosella and even older uses of "Nonpareil Parrot" for it.


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