• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

AOU-NACC Proposals 2019 (1 Viewer)

James Jobling

Well-known member
Pedant's Corner (per SOED). Penduline, from Latin pendulus and the French penduline, was first used as an English word at the very beginning of the 19th century and applied to a bird that built a pendulous nest, like the Penduline Tit. Much later in that century it was also used as an equivalent to the adjective pendulous.
 

viator

Well-known member
Singapore
By the way, the word penduline is yet another word which exists in English exclusively in a name of a bird: Penduline Tit.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/penduline
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/penduline

I'm no linguist and almost everyone on here is better qualified to comment. Without looking at the official definitions linked to penduline it's obviously to me derived from pendulum (which I assume is derived from something in latin?) and the hanging nature of the nest of a Penduline Tit being clearly the derivation of the English name of the bird.

As such it is clearly understandable to a native English speaker (even one from Australia :) which some UK members would no doubt disagree as a qualifying speaker!) irrespective of whether the word is only used in the context of the name of the Tit. As such I'm not sure this is a good example of English adopting foreign words for the names as birds which is the implied reason for raising this example.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I'm no linguist and almost everyone on here is better qualified to comment. Without looking at the official definitions linked to penduline it's obviously to me derived from pendulum (which I assume is derived from something in latin?) and the hanging nature of the nest of a Penduline Tit being clearly the derivation of the English name of the bird.

As such it is clearly understandable to a native English speaker (even one from Australia :) which some UK members would no doubt disagree as a qualifying speaker!) irrespective of whether the word is only used in the context of the name of the Tit. As such I'm not sure this is a good example of English adopting foreign words for the names as birds which is the implied reason for raising this example.

Absolutely correct,
are other language lists so accommodating in the needs of non native speakers?

I'm actually surprised that the word penduline, has it's origin with the birds nest and not vice versa, most people know the word 'pendulous'.
 
Last edited:

l_raty

laurent raty
In French, "penduline" was coined by Buffon for the bird -- https://books.google.com/books?id=Lfy6KSOxWLkC&pg=PA434 : "Je lui ai donné le nom de penduline, qui présente à l'esprit la singulière construction de son nid". ("I gave it the name of penduline, which presents to the mind the peculiar structure of its nest".) The word has no other use, so far as I'm aware; but, "a pendulum" being "un pendule" in French, it should in principle be about as easy to understand the general idea for a French speaker as it is for an English speaker. (The main possible 'complication' being that, in French, "une pendule" is also a clock.)

I suspect the word entered English via an adaptation of Buffon's work -- e.g., in 1793: https://books.google.com/books?id=dzajqnoB2QkC&pg=PA420. (Note that this is before "the very beginning of the 19th century" suggested by SOED.)

The first use as qualifying a nest (rather than the bird that builds it) which I can readily find is in James Jenning's Ornithologia, or the birds: a poem, in two parts, 1828: https://books.google.com/books?id=4sAkAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA220.
 

jurek

Well-known member
I guess penduline is a straight taking of the scientific name Remiz pendulinus. It is intuitive, although a bit nonsensical. Unlike conventions of scientific names, the English name suggests that the bird itself (not its nest) hangs and moves back and forth. Well, maybe during feeding... ;)
 
Last edited:

Björn Bergenholtz

... earlier a k a "Calalp"
I guess penduline is a straight taking of the scientific name Remiz pendulinus. It is intuitive, although a bit nonsensical. Unlike conventions of scientific names, the English name suggests that the bird itself (not its nest) hangs and moves back and forth. Well, maybe during feeding... ;)
Nope, "jurek", it's not a swinging, pendulous bird, not the bird itself ... not even when feeding. ;)

See the Original description of the (European/Eurasian) Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus LINNAEUS 1758 (here), as "[Motacilla] Pendulinus" ...

... with a reference to "Pendelinus. Act. Bonon. 2. 2. p. 57. t. 7." (which takes us further back, to 1746, here):
Pendulinus avis a nido, quem in arboribus pendulum collocat, sic appellata, ceteras omnes agri bononiensis volucres, si minus corporis specie, colorum varietate, aut suavitate cantus, hac ipsa certe nidificandi industria, longe videtur superare. ...
Also see "t. 7" (tabula/Plate 7), here.

It's just like James, and "viator" (in post #201–202), as well as Laurent (in #204) pointed out; it's the dangling, pendulating nest (swinging to and fro, in the wind), that has given this bird its name. And all its subsequent next-of-kins.

Björn
 

l_raty

laurent raty
I guess penduline is a straight taking of the scientific name Remiz pendulinus. It is intuitive, although a bit nonsensical. Unlike conventions of scientific names, the English name suggests that the bird itself hangs and moves back and forth. Well, maybe during feeding... ;)
Explaining something embraced by Buffon as "a straight taking of" something from the work of Linnaeus doesn't strike me as having a high probability of being correct. (Buffon usually either rejected Linnaeus' work -- sometimes aggressively --, or ignored it royally.)

Here, Buffon originally used La Penduline, deliberately, for a bird which he thought distinct from the Motacilla pendulinus (1758) / Parus pendulinus (1766) of Linnaeus. He called Linnaeus' bird Le Remiz, and thought it was found in Italy and C/E Europe; he described La Penduline as a bird building similar nests, and breeding in Languedoc.
Le Remiz -- https://books.google.com/books?id=Lfy6KSOxWLkC&pg=PA424-IA1. (Note, i.a., the last footnoted ref on this page, which is Linnaeus 1766.)
La Penduline -- https://books.google.com/books?id=Lfy6KSOxWLkC&pg=PA433.
He was wrong, however -- only one species was involved, his Languedoc bird being apparently merely a juvenile of the Italian/C European species.
 

Björn Bergenholtz

... earlier a k a "Calalp"
Also (maybe) somewhat noteworthy is the end part (on p.63), in the Bononiensi text:
[...]
Pendulini nomen huius aviculæ proprium facimus, quæ nullum hactenus habuit latinum vel græcum; possem etiam appellare Remiz, sed nihil est, cur alienam vocem anteponam nostræ, præfertim quae & ipsa latinum nescio quid sonet, & ingenium aviculæ, nidum de arboribus pendulum constituentis, haud obscure innuat.
That is; if one understand Latin, of course. ;)

/B
--
 
Last edited:

l_raty

laurent raty
This text is by someone called Caietanus Montius in Latin, as per p. 57. (Caietani Montii in the genitive; = Gaetano Monti in Italian? Buffon calls him "M. Monti".)

That is; if one understand Latin, of course. ;)
Roughly:
We make the name of 'Pendulinus' proper for this bird, which up to now has had none in Latin or Greek; I could also call it Remiz, but there is nothing, to make me prefer a foreign word to ours, especially as (1) I do not know how that word sounds in Latin, and (2) this suggests clearly the talent of the bird, building a nest hanging [= "pendulum"] from trees.​
(See also the title of the article -- "De Pendulinus Bononiensium sive Remiz Polonorum" = "On the Pendulinus of the Bologneses or Remiz of the Poles." "Pendulinus" (Italian: pendulino ?) was apparently a local name for this bird in the area of Bologna; Remiz was the Polish name of the same bird.)
 
Last edited:

mb1848

Well-known member
Last edited:

Björn Bergenholtz

... earlier a k a "Calalp"
Joek Roex wrote a piece about "Bushtits" (incl. "Aeghitalidae") last December (2019) on on his site Birds and Words (here).

It's well worth a look, nicely illustrated.




--
 
Last edited:

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Shortgrass Longspur (the alternate name proposed/considered) seems more evocative to me, but c'est la vie. I also kind of like some eponyms that give a bit of color, but the overarching reasons to change this name were plenty strong enough for me. On the flip side, I still kind of miss the name Rosita's Bunting. The new name is fine, but the old name was really lovely.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
at least Painted Longspur exists as an older alternative to Smith's, if they do go through and remove all names referencing people.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I'm no linguist and almost everyone on here is better qualified to comment. Without looking at the official definitions linked to penduline it's obviously to me derived from pendulum (which I assume is derived from something in latin?) and the hanging nature of the nest of a Penduline Tit being clearly the derivation of the English name of the bird.

As such it is clearly understandable to a native English speaker (even one from Australia :) which some UK members would no doubt disagree as a qualifying speaker!) irrespective of whether the word is only used in the context of the name of the Tit. As such I'm not sure this is a good example of English adopting foreign words for the names as birds which is the implied reason for raising this example.

Exactly. Everybody knows what a pendulum is and penduline is an obvious derivation for something swinging like a pendulum. And to the previous poster one makes the statement of the obvious: correlation is not causation, and even such luminaries as the Oxford pedants forget that.

The BBC a few years ago screened a series of programmes in which the OED team laid out a number of words for which they had found usage back to a certain date but felt that it probably came from further back, and invited viewers to let them know of any references going back further. A number were found that substantially extended the known length of existence of various words. One that didn't get officially done despite being on the programme was "boffin", which the OED team had only as far back as the 1950s but which was used (as most would anyway suspect) during at least WWII, being in Guy Gibson's Enemy Coast Ahead more than once (and he was dead before the end of the war). The point being that even experts (a) don't know everything and (b) can be misled into thinking they do by their own "boffinness" as in the case of the pendulum, where their argument is elegant, academic, and plain wrong.

John
 

Kirk Roth

Well-known member
Shortgrass Longspur (the alternate name proposed/considered) seems more evocative to me, but c'est la vie. I also kind of like some eponyms that give a bit of color, but the overarching reasons to change this name were plenty strong enough for me. On the flip side, I still kind of miss the name Rosita's Bunting. The new name is fine, but the old name was really lovely.

Here is the proposal: https://americanornithology.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-S.pdf

Despite the first sentence of the recommendation being "A fundamental principle of nomenclature is stability" they (as far as I can tell) invented a new name rather than using a previously used one for the species (e.g. Bay-winged Longspur, Black-breasted Longspur). Reading between the lines of the Birdwatching article, it seems possible the committee wanted a name that was descriptive in all plumages, which seems fine to me.
 

Fred Ruhe

Well-known member
Netherlands
Here is the proposal: https://americanornithology.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-S.pdf

Despite the first sentence of the recommendation being "A fundamental principle of nomenclature is stability" they (as far as I can tell) invented a new name rather than using a previously used one for the species (e.g. Bay-winged Longspur, Black-breasted Longspur). Reading between the lines of the Birdwatching article, it seems possible the committee wanted a name that was descriptive in all plumages, which seems fine to me.

Ha, I can't wait for the endless discussions and insults that come with this and don't forget the difference between English, Amarican English, Australian English, South African English and other English languages. We neecan PURE ENGLISH TAXONOMY. Everybody must speak English and those bloody foreigners just have to learn English birdnames. We know our bird names yes, in Latin, why do you arrogant English-speakers don't use them on international fora?

Please explaim why/

Fred
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top