[jak-daw] /ˈdʒækˌdɔ/

a glossy, black, European bird, Corvus monedula, of the crow family, that nests in towers, ruins, etc.
a large common Eurasian passerine bird, Corvus monedula, in which the plumage is black and dark grey: noted for its thieving habits: family Corvidae (crows)

1540s, the common name of the daw (Corvus monedula), “which frequents church towers, old buildings, etc.; noted for its loquacity and thievish propensities” [OED]. See jack (n.) + daw.

In modern times, parrots are almost the only birds that have the gift of speech, though connoisseurs are not ignorant that starlings and jackdaws have good abilities in that way, when properly educated. [“Chambers’ Home Book and Pocket Miscellany,” 1853]


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