Parrot Names

The word parrot was first coined in the early 16th century. It’s probably based on the French perrot and perroquet, a diminutive of the name Pierre, although perroquet only began to be used as the word for parrots in France during the 18th century.

Parakeet shares the same root, but etymologists are uncertain of the original meaning - it may be from an Italian word parrocchetto, meaning a little parish priest, or it may be from parrucchetto, meaning a small periwig (an old name for a wig). This would be in reference to parrots such as Cockatoos, which sport impressive head feathers.

Before 1520, parrots were known as Popinjays in Britain. This was from an Old French name for the parrot, papegay, related to the Spanish papagayo and Arabic babaghā. The word popinjay lingered into the 18th century to describe a foolish, vain, over-talkative man.

Macaw is from an old Portuguese name for the bird, macau, which derives from the native Topi Brazilian language word macavuana. This is thought to have been the local name for a type of palm tree whose fruits the macaws ate.

The words Lory and Lorikeet first appeared in Dutch, based on the Malay word for the birds, lūrī.


Green-Winged and Blue and Gold Macaws
Green-winged and Blue and Gold Macaws - named after a Brazilian tree?

Parrot names in different languages

  • Afrikaans papegaai
  • Albanian papagall
  • Arabic ببغاء
  • Armenian թութակ
  • Azerbaijani tutuquşu
  • Basque Loro
  • Belarusian папугай
  • Bengali তোতাপাখি
  • Bosnian papagaj
  • Bulgarian папагал
  • Catalan lloro
  • Chichewa Chingolopiyo
  • Chinese Simplified 鹦鹉
  • Chinese Traditional 鸚鵡
  • Croatian papiga
  • Czech papoušek
  • Danish papegøje
  • Dutch papegaai
  • Esperanto papago
  • Estonian papagoi
  • Filipino loro
  • Finnish papukaija
  • French perroquet
  • Galician papagaio
  • Georgian tuti(qh)ushi
  • German Papagei
  • Greek παπαγάλος
  • Gujarati પોપટ
  • Haitian Creole jako
  • Hausa aku
  • Hebrew תוכי
  • Hindi तोता
  • Hmong leeb nkaub
  • Hungarian papagáj
  • Icelandic páfagaukur
  • Igbo okooko
  • Indonesian nuri
  • Irish pearóid
  • Italian pappagallo
  • Japanese 鸚鵡
  • Kannada ಗಿಣಿ
  • Kazakh тоты
  • Khmer សេក
  • Korean 앵무새
  • Latin psittacus
  • Latvian papagailis
  • Lithuanian papūga
  • Macedonian папагал
  • Malagasy boloky
  • Malay nuri
  • Malayalam തത്ത
  • Maltese Pappagall
  • Maori kākā
  • Marathi पोपट
  • Mongolian тоть
  • Myanmar (Burmese) ကွကျတူရှေး
  • Nepali सुगा
  • Norwegian papegøye
  • Persian طوطی
  • Polish papuga
  • Portuguese papagaio
  • Romanian papagal
  • Russian попугай
  • Scots Gaelic piorraid
  • Serbian папагај
  • Slovak papagáj
  • Slovenian papiga
  • Somali baqbaqaaq
  • Spanish loro
  • Swahili Kasuku
  • Swedish papegoja
  • Tajik тутӣ
  • Tamil கிளி
  • Telugu చిలుక
  • Thai นกแก้ว
  • Turkish papağan
  • Ukrainian папуга
  • Urdu توتے
  • Uzbek to'tiqush
  • Vietnamese con két
  • Welsh parot
  • Yiddish פּאַפּוגייַ
  • Yoruba parrot
  • Zulu upholi

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