17 Sep Mrs Moreau’s Warbler
Mrs Moreau’s Warbler: How Birds Got Their Names by Stephen Moss
Summary: We use names so often that few of us ever pause to wonder about their origins. What do they mean? And where did they come from?
From the common starling to the many-colored rush tyrant, the names we have given to birds are some of the most vivid and evocative words in the English language. They can carry whole stories – of arctic expeditions, pitched battles between rival ornithologists or touching romantic gestures.
Through fascinating encounters with the bird kingdom and the rich cast of characters responsible for coming up with their names, in Mrs Moreau’s Warbler Stephen Moss shows how these words reveal as much about ourselves and our relationship with the natural world as about the creatures they describe.
Angie’s comments: This is a fun exploration of how birds got named, ranging from being named after people to being named after physical appearance. The names range from old and used for hundreds of years to ones that have been named very recently. The book is mostly focused on birds that you can find in Britain, although North America is included as well. The writing is easy and you learn about science, etymology, language, social customs, and of course, birds. You also travel along with Moss as he goes birdwatching.
Recommended for readers interested in birds and/or language.
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