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[hoo-poo] /ˈhu pu/
any Old World bird of the family Upupidae, especially Upupa epops, of Europe, having an erectile, fanlike crest.
Origin of hoopoe
1660-70; variant of obsolete hoopoop (imitative); cognate with Low German huppup; compare Latin upupa Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hoopoe
Historical Examples
  • The crest is the feature that distinguishes the hoopoe from all other birds.

  • The flight of the hoopoe is undulating or jerky, like that of a butterfly.

  • Whether the following bird is meant for the hoopoe, or the Lapwing, I know not.

  • In Bavaria the hoopoe is said to play the part of attendant to the cuckoo.

    Human Animals Frank Hamel
  • Tereus is changed into a crested bird, either a hoopoe or a lapwing.

    Human Animals Frank Hamel
  • The corona of the hoopoe is as mobile as are the ears of a horse.

    Glimpses of Indian Birds Douglas Dewar
  • The long bill of the hoopoe, like that of the snipe, is a probe to penetrate the earth.

    Glimpses of Indian Birds Douglas Dewar
  • Time was, it is said, when the hoopoe had no crest, and he only got one granted by royal favour.

    Egyptian Birds Charles Whymper
  • Like the wagtail, which originally had no tail, the hoopoe had originally no tuft on its head.

  • The cuckoo waited for a while for the hoopoe to return to him the tuft which he had lent her.

British Dictionary definitions for hoopoe


an Old World bird, Upupa epops, having a pinkish-brown plumage with black-and-white wings and an erectile crest: family Upupidae, order Coraciiformes (kingfishers, etc)
Word Origin
C17: from earlier hoopoop, of imitative origin; compare Latin upupa
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
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Word Origin and History for hoopoe

1660s, from Latin upupa, imitative of its cry (cf. Greek epops "hoopoe").

If anybody smears himself with the blood of this bird on his way to bed, he will have nightmares about suffocating devils. [Cambridge bestiary, 12c.]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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