from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of several albatrosses, especially the black-footed albatross (Diomedea nigripes) and the Laysan albatross, that dwell primarily on islands in the Pacific Ocean, often near naval bases.
  • noun slang a foolish, silly, or awkward person or thing; a goon.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a variety of albatross with black feet


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  • Affectionate moniker for the Douglas C-47 transport workhorse aircraft of WWII (The airline version was known as the DC-3; also known as the Dakota by the Brits).

    Also the nickname for the Albatross, which nests in the thousands at Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean west of the Hawaiian Islands (and which can be a real hazard to aviation there). Here's an incident which I'll remember to my dying day: on takeoff roll,(in the C-141 heavy-jet transport I was in command of) approaching 100 knots or so, I suddenly espied an Albatross perched RIGHT ON THE CENTERLINE OF THE RUNWAY! I made a gentle, slight correction with the rudder pedals to miss it with the aircraft nosewheel and maingear-wheels. When the Albatross finally got a clue of the threat my behemoth, roaring jet presented, it jumped awkwardly to its feet and began a slow-motion attempt at exactly the SAME DIRECTION I had made to miss it! At that point further corrections were impossible as our passage over the bird was foregone. Somehow we missed it, we learned, after advising the Midway tower to check for a big mess on the runway (which needed to be cleared before any other takeoffs could be made). "Yeah, we noticed a gooney bird tumbling ass-over-teakettle in your jet blast before it made its way out of danger!" Those birds are the most ungainly things on the ground, but oh, how beautiful in the long as they stay out of the way of airplanes!

    September 5, 2007

  • As oroboros says, a nickname for the Black-Footed and Laysan Albatross. :-)

    December 7, 2007