• synonyms


  1. a common North American songbird, Dolichonyx oryzivorus, that winters in South America.
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Origin of bobolink

1765–75, Americanism; short for Bob o' Lincoln, the bird's call as heard by speakers of English
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bobolink

Historical Examples

  • Sharp as Mr. Bobolink was, we knew all his tricks, and had outwitted him often.

    Harper's Young People, October 5, 1880


  • "Excuse me from the job then," said Bobolink, making a wry face.

  • "It's Bobolink changing his voice," called out Paul, laughingly.

  • Bobolink, you and Bluff come with us; yes, and Nuthin can trot along, too.

  • These two were so much alike that Bobolink remarked upon the fact.

British Dictionary definitions for bobolink


  1. an American songbird, Dolichonyx oryzivorus, the male of which has a white back and black underparts in the breeding season: family Icteridae (American orioles)Also called (US): reedbird, ricebird
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Word Origin

C18: of imitative origin
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 bobolink


1796, American English, from bob-o-Lincoln (1774), imitative of the call of the bird.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper