from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large kingfisher (Dacelo novaeguineae) of southern and eastern Australia, having brown and white plumage and a call resembling raucous laughter. Also called laughing jackass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several species of kingfishers in the genus Dacelo, known for their laugh-like call.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The native name adopted as a common name for the laughing-jackass, Dacelo gigas, a large species of kingfisher. The name is extensively used about Sydney and is given by E. P. Ramsay in his “Catalogue of Australian Birds.” See cut under Dacelo.

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

  • n. Australian kingfisher having a loud cackling cry


Wiradhuri (Aboriginal language of southeast Australia) gugubarra, of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Wiradhuri gugubarra ("Dacelo novaeguineae"). (Wiktionary)



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  • A large, arboreal, brown kingfisher, Dacelo novæ-guineæ, distinguished by its peculiar laughing cry; formerly called the GOBURRA and also called the laughing jackass.

    What a coincidence... Though I have never been called a kookaburra, I have on occasion been called "the laughing jackass."

    February 7, 2007