With its vibrant orange breast and pleasant nature, the European robin (Erithacus rubecula) is certainly one of our most acquainted birds.
Nevertheless it hasn’t all the time been referred to as the robin. In reality, the nation’s favorite chook has been via a number of title modifications over the previous few hundred years.
Its earliest recorded title is the ruddock, spelt ‘ruddoke’ in Center English, which lined a interval of about 300 years from simply after the Norman conquest in 1066 to the late fifteenth century. The phrase derives from a Proto-Indo-European root, ‘reudh’, that means purple. Different derivatives of the basis which might be nonetheless in use right now embody the phrases ‘ruddy’, ‘rowan’, ‘ruby’, ‘strong’ (after a type of hardwood oak recognized for its reddish centre), and naturally the color ‘purple’.
From the early fifteenth century, the ruddock began to be known as the redbreast, and though it’s not clear why the change in title, it may be inferred that individuals have been merely describing it as seen.
At about the identical time, it turned trendy in England, Wales, and Scotland to offer animal species human names, so the wagtail turned Willie or Polly Wagtail, the daw, Jack Daw, and the blue tit, Tom Tit. Different animals that have been rechristened included goats (Billy and Nanny, quick for William and Anne) and donkeys (Jack and Jenny).
Jack and Jenny have been notably common for the female and male of a species, and the wren typically thought-about to be the spouse of the robin in folks tales and nursery rhymes, as immortalised in Isabella’s kids’s story The Marriage of Robin Redbreast and the Wren, turned Jenny Wren.