Your E-mail:
What does your bird think of snow?



Partridge in a Pear Tree: Bird Term of the Day

Definitions of words used by pet bird enthusiasts with the pet bird slant.

French pigeon 
The "partridge in a pear tree" could refer to the French partridge, which does like to roost in higher perches rather than on the ground like most partridges.

Partridge in a Pear Tree: This phrase is the first part of a Christmas carol called, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The song was first published in an English children’s book called “Mirth without Mischief” in 1780, but it had been around in its oral form for much longer. It has been hypothesized that the song is really of French origin.

First, what is a partridge in a pear tree? A partridge is an Old World bird from the order Galliformes. Its genus is Perdix, which is Greek for partridge. (Side note on the Greek myth: Perdix was the nephew of the famous Greek inventor Daedalus, who grew jealous of Perdix and threw him into the Acropolis of Athens. The goddess Athena changed him into a partridge as he fell. The partridge does not fly and builds its nest close to the ground because it remembers its great fall into the Acropolis.)

One theory is that it never was “partridge in a pear tree,” but rather “partridge, une perdrix.” Une perdrix is French for partridge. There is a French partridge that does like to perch up off the ground called the French partridge or red-legged partridge, so this could be true. Another theory is that partridge symbolizes Jesus and the song taught children catechism, but there is no definitive proof of this either. Not only do we not really know for sure if the first version did actually say, “partridge in a pear tree,” but different countries have different versions of the song. The Scottish version doesn’t even say partridge, but starts out as “The king sent his lady on the first Yule day, a popingo-aye what learns my carol and carries it away.” And “popingo” means … you guessed it – parrot.

Of course, when I tried to confirm this, I found the spelling to be “papingo” for parrot in a Gaelic dictionary. Other inconsistencies to note: the original version says “colly” birds, not calling birds. Colly birds are blackbirds. Also five golden rings might really have been referring to five ring-necked pheasants. In the end, all we may know for sure, is that someone who loved birds wrote a song about them. Everything else was just filler.

Bird Word of the Day


Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Partridge in a Pear Tree: Bird Term of the Day

Submit a Comment or
Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments
Now this is FUN trivia! I love it!
Barbara, Kerrville, TX
Posted: 4/16/2011 12:21:29 PM
Thanks alot
susan, westc hester, NY
Posted: 12/28/2010 9:08:41 AM
Thanks
Tv, Houston, TX
Posted: 12/28/2010 12:13:00 AM
Loved it!
james, brooklyn, NY
Posted: 12/27/2010 9:06:17 PM
View Current Comments

Top Products
d
BirdChannel Home | Bird Breeders | Bird Species | Related Links | BirdChannel Editors and Contributors
DOGS | CATS | FISH | HORSE | REPTILES | SMALL ANIMALS | HOBBY FARMS
                       | Birds USA |  
Disclaimer: The posts and threads recorded in our message boards do not reflect the opinions of nor are endorsed by I-5 Publishing, LLC nor any of its employees. We are not responsible for the content of these posts and threads.
Copyright ©  I-5 Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.
Our Privacy Policy has changed. Your California Privacy Right/Privacy Policy
Advertise With Us  |  SiteMap  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Community Guidelines | Bird eClub Terms
BirdChannel Newsletter Signup | Link to Us | About Us | More Great I-5 Sites
Gold Standard

*Content generated by our loyal visitors, which includes comments and club postings, is free of constraints from our editors’ red pens, and therefore not governed by I-5 Publishing, LLC’s Gold Standard Quality Content, but instead allowed to follow the free form expression necessary for quick, inspired and spontaneous communication.

Become a fan of BirdChannel on Facebook Follow BirdChannel on Twitter
Get social and connect with BirdChannel.



Hi my name's Max

Visit the Photo Gallery to
cast your vote!
Information on over 200 critter species