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90s Slang You Should Know


[shel-dreyk] /ˈʃɛlˌdreɪk/
noun, plural sheldrakes (especially collectively) sheldrake.
any of several Old World ducks of the genus Tadorna, certain species of which have highly variegated plumage.
any of various other ducks, especially the goosander or merganser.
Origin of sheldrake
1275-1325; Middle English sheldedrake, equivalent to sheld particolored + drake drake1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sheldrake
Historical Examples
  • Mr. sheldrake had become Lizzie's Doctor Fell; and she judged him accordingly.

    London's Heart B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • The breeding season of the sheldrake begins in April or May.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • Mr. sheldrake laughed loud and laughed long; he seemed to be relieved from an embarrassment by Muzzy's question.

    London's Heart B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • The down in the nest of the sheldrake is a beautiful lavender-gray.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • She paid no attention to sheldrake, who responded guardedly to his chief's overtures.

    A Dream of Empire William Henry Venable
  • Ready of speech and smooth of manner was Mr. sheldrake as he addressed Lily.

    London's Heart B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • Did Mr. sheldrake know, then, that we were at Hampton Court?

    London's Heart B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • It isn't reasonable of sheldrake to expect me to do this; upon my soul it isn't!

    London's Heart B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • "I'm glad for one person's sake that I managed to escape that unpleasant contingency," observed Mr. sheldrake.

    London's Heart B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • Mr. sheldrake seemed impressed by what Con Staveley had said.

    London's Heart B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
Word Origin and History for sheldrake

early 14c., from sheld- "variegated" + drake "male duck." First element cognate with Middle Dutch schillede "separated, variegated," West Flemish schilde, from schillen (Dutch verschillen "to make different"), from Proto-Germanic *skeli-, from PIE root *(s)kel- (1) "to cut" (see scale (n.1)). This is the origin considered most likely, though English sheld by itself is a dialect word attested only from c.1500. OED finds derivation from shield (n.), on resemblance to the patterns on shields, "improbable."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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