Origin of sanderling

1595–1605; sand + -erling, representing Old English yrthling kind of bird (perhaps a plover), literally, plowman (compare obsolete English earthling plowman), equivalent to yrth plowing, tilling (derivative of erian to plow, ear3; for -th, cf. birth) + -ling -ling1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sanderling

Historical Examples of sanderling

  • There can be little doubt that the Sanderling migrates by night.

    British Sea Birds

    Charles Dixon

  • To the four named might properly be added other two species—the sanderling and the little stint.

    Unexplored Spain

    Abel Chapman

  • Indeed for the society of the latter birds the Sanderling shows a strongly marked preference.

    British Sea Birds

    Charles Dixon

  • But very little is known of the nesting habits of the Sanderling, and few of its eggs are in collections.

    British Sea Birds

    Charles Dixon

  • In its winter plumage, in which we usually see it, it is likely to be confused with the northern phalarope or the sanderling.

British Dictionary definitions for sanderling


  1. a small sandpiper, Crocethia alba, that frequents sandy shores

Word Origin for sanderling

C17: perhaps from sand + Old English erthling, eorthling earthling
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 sanderling

wading bird (Crocethia alba), c.1600, probably from sand (n.) + a diminutive suffix, but OED suggests possible derivation from Old English *sand-yrðling, with second element yrðling "plowman" (literally "earthling").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper