Origin of hoopoe

1660–70; variant of obsolete hoopoop (imitative); cognate with Low German huppup; compare Latin upupa
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hoopoe

Historical Examples of hoopoe

  • The crest is the feature that distinguishes the hoopoe from all other birds.

  • The flight of the hoopoe is undulating or jerky, like that of a butterfly.

  • Whether the following bird is meant for the Hoopoe, or the Lapwing, I know not.

  • Tereus is changed into a crested bird, either a hoopoe or a lapwing.

    Human Animals

    Frank Hamel

  • In Bavaria the hoopoe is said to play the part of attendant to the cuckoo.

    Human Animals

    Frank Hamel

British Dictionary definitions for hoopoe


  1. an Old World bird, Upupa epops, having a pinkish-brown plumage with black-and-white wings and an erectile crest: family Upupidae, order Coraciiformes (kingfishers, etc)

Word Origin for hoopoe

C17: from earlier hoopoop, of imitative origin; compare Latin upupa
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 hoopoe

1660s, from Latin upupa, imitative of its cry (cf. Greek epops "hoopoe").

If anybody smears himself with the blood of this bird on his way to bed, he will have nightmares about suffocating devils. [Cambridge bestiary, 12c.]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper