Origin of puffinMiddle English poffin from uncertain or unknown; perhaps associated, association by folk etymology with puff, because of the enormous beak or blown-up appearance of the young
any of various northern alcidine shorebirds (esp. genus Fratercula) black above and white below, with a short neck, ducklike body, and a large, brightly colored, triangular beak
Any of several seabirds of the genus Fratercula of northern regions, characteristically having black-and-white plumage and a vertically flattened, triangular bill that is brightly colored during breeding season.
Origin of puffinMiddle English poffoun, puffon perhaps from puf puff ; see puff .
Origin uncertain; perhaps ultimately from Middle Cornish (compare Breton poc'han (“puffin")).
- The puffin is most commonly taken for its feathers.
- Bede tells us that Edwin had subdued the islands of Anglesey and Man, and the Annales Cambriae record that he besieged Cadwallon (perhaps in 632) in the island of Glannauc (Puffin Island).
- There is an immense variety of water-fowl, including the phalarope, fulmar petrel, kittiwake, Manx shearwater, black guillemot, whimbrel, puffin and white-tailed eagle.
- They are rich in sea-fowl, the most common being the eider duck, puffin, Manx shearwater, black guillemot, kittiwake and herring gull.
- 315) speaks of comparing his own drawing "with Brown's old draught of it, still preserved in the British Museum," and thus identifies the latter's "shearwater" with the "puffin of the Isle of Man."