from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small bunting (Emberiza citrinella) native to Eurasia and northern Africa and introduced into New Zealand, having bright yellow plumage on the head, neck, and breast.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The yellow bunting, Emberiza citrinella, one of the commonest birds of the western Palearctic region.
  • noun In the United States, a local misnomer of the flicker, or golden-winged woodpecker, Colaptes auratus (see cut under flicker).
  • noun A gold coin; a yellow boy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Local, U. S., Local, U. S. A common European finch (Emberiza citrinella). The color of the male is bright yellow on the breast, neck, and sides of the head, with the back yellow and brown, and the top of the head and the tail quills blackish. Called also yellow bunting, scribbling lark, and writing lark.
  • noun Local, U. S. The flicker.

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

  • noun A passerine bird, Emberiza citrinella, of Eurasia which is mainly yellow in colour.
  • noun A native or resident of the American state of Alabama.

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

  • noun European bunting the male being bright yellow
  • noun large flicker of eastern North America with a red neck and yellow undersurface to wings and tail


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

[By folk etymology from earlier yelambre, perhaps from Middle English *yelwambre : yelow, yellow; see yellow + Old English amore, a kind of bird.]


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  • As we were advancing to the attack and to support the Alabama brigade in our front, and which had given way and were stricken with fear, some of the boys of our regiment would laugh at them, and ask what they were running for, and would commence to say "Flicker! flicker! flicker!" like the bird called the yellowhammer, "Flicker! flicker! flicker!"

    "Co. Aytch" Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment or, A Side Show of the Big Show

  • The yellowhammer is the most persistent individually, but I think the blackbirds when listened to are the masters of the fields.

    The Life of the Fields

  • An intriguing letter from Will County, Illinois, reported that shitepoke denoted a crane, but mentioned local use of the bird name "yellowhammer" for "dirty and disreputable ... not necessarily poor" natives.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol III No 3

  • A cock yellowhammer sings insistently from a laburnum tree as I quit the lanes and walk woodland paths where last anemones wilt into emerald moss.

    Country diary: Harlech

  • At the crest of the hill the wood gives way to fields, and a yellowhammer called and flew along the hedge.

    A Year on the Wing

  • I told the boys that a yellowhammer had been the first special bird I had noted on my very first proper rather than back-garden bird-watching outing aged seven, and how my dad and I had struggled to clinch the identification.

    A Year on the Wing

  • With yellow breast and head of solid gold. admin Uncategorized john clare, randall couch, the yellowhammer

    Randall Couch reads “The Yellowhammer” by John Clare

  • With yellow breast and head of solid gold. admin Uncategorized john clare, randall couch, the yellowhammer

    2005 » June

  • DEAR MR. PUNCH, -- I wonder if any of your intelligent readers have noticed the wonderful adaptability of Nature, of which I send you the following remarkable instance: -- The yellowhammer, which we are always told sings, "A little bit of bread and no che-e-ese," has (unless my ears grossly deceive me) changed its words this year to "A little bit of cheese and no bre-e-ead!"

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, May 23, 1917

  • The yellowhammer and the hedge sparrow tell over their short, recurring staves.

    The Spring of Joy: A Little Book of Healing


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