an Australian kingfisher (Dacelo gigas) with an abrupt, harsh cry suggestive of loud laughter
Origin of kookaburra; from native name in Australia
- A large kingfisher (Dacelo novaeguineae) of southern and eastern Australia, having brown and white plumage and a call resembling raucous laughter. Also called laughing jackass.
- Any of several similar kingfishers of the genera Dacelo and Clytoceyx of Australia, New Guinea, and neighboring islands.
Origin of kookaburraWiradhuri (Pama-Nyungan language of southeast Australia) gugubarra, of imitative origin.
From Wiradhuri gugubarra (“Dacelo novaeguineae”).