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90s Slang You Should Know


[tur-tl-duhv] /ˈtɜr tlˌdʌv/
any of several small to medium-sized Old World doves of the genus Streptopelia, especially S. turtur, of Europe, having a long, graduated tail: noted for its soft, cooing call.
a sweetheart or beloved mate.
Origin of turtledove
1250-1300; Middle English turtildove, equivalent to turtil turtle2 + dove dove1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for turtledoves
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To abruptly find such a secret in the midst of one's happiness resembles the discovery of a scorpion in a nest of turtledoves.

    Les Misrables Victor Hugo
  • She had much to say of dew and roses, turtledoves and the arrows of Cupid.

  • turtledoves are fairly common in Cheshire, but there are many more in some years than in others.

    In a Cheshire Garden Geoffrey Egerton-Warburton
  • Soon three turtledoves came from the sky flapping their wings and perched gently on the border of the pond.

    The Golden Maiden A. G. Seklemian
  • Quail, turtledoves, wild fowl, and other game birds are hunted in restricted seasons.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
  • I thought that you never left your adored wife; everybody speaks of you as a pair of turtledoves.

  • They were turned to turtledoves, and flew away with drooping wings.

    The Golden Maiden A. G. Seklemian
  • She had secretly offered up her humble sacrifice—her pair of turtledoves; and she knew not that her secret was known.

  • I have watched you, and I own a prettier pair of turtledoves I never saw.

    The Woman-Hater Charles Reade
British Dictionary definitions for turtledoves


any of several Old World doves of the genus Streptopelia, having a brown plumage with speckled wings and a long dark tail
a gentle or loving person
Word Origin
see turtle²
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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Slang definitions & phrases for turtledoves



A pair of sweethearts (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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