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wryneck

[ rahy-nek ]

noun

  1. Informal.
    1. a person having torticollis.
  2. any of several small Old World climbing birds of the subfamily Jynginae, of the woodpecker family, noted for the peculiar habit of twisting the head and neck.


wryneck

/ ˈraɪˌnɛk /

noun

  1. either of two cryptically coloured Old World woodpeckers, Jynx torquilla or J. ruficollis, which do not drum on trees
  2. another name for torticollis
  3. informal.
    a person who has a twisted neck


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Word History and Origins

Origin of wryneck1

First recorded in 1575–85; wry + neck
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Example Sentences

Last year the wryneck was a scarce bird in this neighbourhood; in all my walks I heard but two or three, and at long intervals.

The sound is unlike any other, but that is nothing, since the same can be said of the wryneck and cuckoo and grasshopper warbler.

I have lingered long over the wryneck, but have still a story to relate of this bird--not a fairy tale this time, but true.

All at once he remembered that he knew, or had known formerly, the wryneck very well, but he had never learnt its name.

Nightjars love this quiet corner, and the nuthatch and the wryneck find sanctuary in the hollows of the trees.

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