Origin of magpie
Examples from the Web for magpie
Television is a magpie, and it will take back to its stuffed nest whatever shiny things it can find.
Instead, he was more of a magpie, listening to what came before and incorporating it into his own inimitable music.J.J. Cale, Dead at 74, Was a Songwriter Beyond Compare|Malcolm Jones|July 30, 2013|DAILY BEAST
And best of all, the empty chatter of the magpie Mrs. Hanway-Harley—who knows nothing, being a fool!The President|Alfred Henry Lewis
On the following day the Magpie called for the kettle they had borrowed.The Myths of the North American Indians|Lewis Spence
He let her slip to the ground, and then assisted her to mount Magpie, and thus they rode slowly back to camp.Ted Strong in Montana|Edward C. Taylor
Then the magpie got angry and said: "One's enough, I tell you!"Good Stories For Great Holidays|Frances Jenkins Olcott
On going up to the bush they discovered a magpie crouched among the leaves.The Romany Rye|George Borrow
British Dictionary definitions for magpie
- the outmost ring but one on a target
- a shot that hits this ring
Word Origin for magpie
Word Origin and History for magpie
the common European bird, known for its chattering, c.1600, earlier simply pie (early 13c.); first element from Mag, nickname for Margaret, long used in proverbial and slang English for qualities associated generally with women, especially in this case "idle chattering" (cf. Magge tales "tall tales, nonsense," early 15c.; also French margot "magpie," from Margot, pet form of Marguerite).
Second element, pie, is the earlier name of the bird, from Old French pie, from Latin pica "magpie," fem. of picus "woodpecker," from PIE root *(s)peik- "woodpecker, magpie" (cf. Umbrian peica "magpie," Sanskrit pikah "Indian cuckoo," Old Norse spætr, German Specht "woodpecker"); possibly from PIE root *pi-, denoting pointedness, of the beak, perhaps, but the magpie also has a long, pointed tail. The birds are proverbial for pilfering and hoarding, can be taught to speak, and have been regarded since the Middle Ages as ill omens.
Whan pyes chatter vpon a house it is a sygne of ryghte euyll tydynges. 
Divination by number of magpies is attested from c.1780 in Lincolnshire; the rhyme varies from place to place, the only consistency being that one is bad, two are good.