Robin is a diminutive type of Robert, an Previous French title that entered England after the Norman Conquest. It was a preferred title in Continental Europe and derives from an historical Germanic given title, Hrōþiberhtaz, from ‘Hrōþi’ which means ‘fame’ and ‘berhta’ which means ‘shiny’.
It isn’t identified why the redbreast was given the moniker Robin. It may merely have been alliteration, or it may have been as a result of chook’s recognition and shiny crimson breast.
Nonetheless, not like many different species which misplaced their nicknames over time, the robin’s title caught and by the 1540s the unique title of redbreast had largely been disbursed with and it grew to become identified merely as robin.
It was additionally typically identified affectionally because the robinet, as was the chaffinch, which have to be the avian file holder for the variety of nicknames by which it’s referred to, roberd being one other.
However why redbreast? As we alluded to firstly of this text, robins don’t even have crimson breasts; they’re in fact orange.
It’s usually mentioned that till the arrival of the fruit, there was no English phrase for the color orange. This isn’t precisely true.
In Previous English there was a phrase ‘geoluhread’ or ‘yellow-red’ – the g is more likely to have been pronounced as a ‘y’ sound and the ‘eo’ diphthong might have been pronounced like ‘eh’, so it might have sounded very very similar to the fashionable translation – for reddish orange. There was additionally ‘geolucrog‘ (yellow-saffron) for yellowish orange. However many orange issues resembling crimson deer, crimson hair, the Crimson Planet, and the robin redbreast had been merely described as crimson.
What concerning the American robin?
Till comparatively not too long ago the European robin was labeled as a member of the thrush household associated to blackbirds, fieldfares, and redwings. It’s now thought-about to belong to the Previous World flycatcher household, and particularly to the chats, extra carefully associated to the nightingale.
The American robin, nonetheless, is a member of the thrush household, and when early colonial settlers within the New World first got here throughout it they observed its resemblance to the robin again residence, particularly its shiny orange breast, and named it after it.
It was not the one chook although to be bestowed with the title robin. Any chook in North America with a major quantity of orange plumage was given the title. And so bluebirds are typically generally known as blue robins, towhees are floor robins, and the Baltimore oriole is the golden robin.
The title robin additionally refers to dozens of different species of birds such because the rufous-breasted bush robin and white-tailed robin which sit within the chat household, and the scarlet robin and Pekin robin which don’t.