- See under skua(def 1).
Origin of great skua
First recorded in 1950–55
Origin of skua
1670–80; < Faeroese skū(g)vur; cognate with Old Norse skūfr tassel, tuft, also skua (in poetry), akin to shove1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any predatory gull-like bird of the family Stercorariidae, such as the great skua or bonxie (Stercorarius skua) or arctic skua (S. parasiticus) both of which harass terns or gulls into dropping or disgorging fish they have caught
C17: from New Latin, from Faeroese skūgvur, from Old Norse skūfr
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for great skua
type of predatory gull, 1670s, from Faeroese skugvur, related to Old Norse skufr "seagull, tuft, tassel," and possibly to skauf "fox's tail."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper