from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A newly hatched or unfledged chick.
- n. Hence A delectable morsel; a childish, tender, delicate person.
- n. A small grebe; a water-bird of the family Podicipedidae: especially applied in Europe to the Podiceps minor the little grebe, and in the United States to the Podilymbus podiceps, the Carolina or pied-billed grebe.
Old Joe and Bob grunted approbation, and Mordacks himself was beginning to believe that some dark whirlpool or coil of tangles had drowned the poor diver, when a very gentle noise, like a dabchick playing beneath a bridge, came from the darkest corner.
Uncle Jack obeyed, while as Norman looked up, he saw himself apparently covered by the two guns, and at once dived like a dabchick.
In the hot summer weather he would bathe twenty times a day, and was as much at home in the water as any dabchick.
‘Dabchick’ is an alteration of ‘dobchick,’ where ‘dob’ comes from the Middle English ‘doppe,’ diving bird.