black-capped chickadee


Origin of black-capped chickadee

An Americanism dating back to 1870–75


  1. any of several North American birds of the genus Parus, of the titmouse family, especially P. atricapillus (black-capped chickadee), having the throat and top of the head black.

Origin of chickadee

First recorded in 1820–30; imitative Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for black-capped chickadee


  1. any of various small North American songbirds of the genus Parus, such as P. atricapillus (black-capped chickadee), typically having grey-and-black plumage: family Paridae (titmice)

Word Origin for chickadee

C19: imitative of its note
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 black-capped chickadee



black-capped titmouse, 1834, American English, echoic of its cry.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper