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[jak-daw] /ˈdʒækˌdɔ/
a glossy, black, European bird, Corvus monedula, of the crow family, that nests in towers, ruins, etc.
Origin of jackdaw
First recorded in 1535-45; jack1 + daw Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for jackdaw


a large common Eurasian passerine bird, Corvus monedula, in which the plumage is black and dark grey: noted for its thieving habits: family Corvidae (crows)
Word Origin
C16: from jack1 + daw
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 jackdaw

1540s, the common name of the daw (Corvus monedula), "which frequents church towers, old buildings, etc.; noted for its loquacity and thievish propensities" [OED]. See jack (n.) + daw.

In modern times, parrots are almost the only birds that have the gift of speech, though connoisseurs are not ignorant that starlings and jackdaws have good abilities in that way, when properly educated. ["Chambers' Home Book and Pocket Miscellany," 1853]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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