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wryneck

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n wryneck Old World woodpecker with a peculiar habit of twisting the neck
    • n wryneck an unnatural condition in which the head leans to one side because the neck muscles on that side are contracted
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A jynx is a woodpecker, also know as the wryneck because of its peculiar habit of twisting its neck.
    • Wryneck a person suffering from torticollis.
    • Wryneck A twisted or distorted neck; a deformity in which the neck is drawn to one side by a rigid contraction of one of the muscles of the neck; torticollis.
    • Wryneck (Zoöl) Any one of several species of Old World birds of the genus Jynx or subfamily Jynginae, allied to the woodpeckers; especially, the common European species (Jynx torguilla); -- so called from its habit of turning the neck around in different directions. Called also cuckoo's mate snakebird summer bird tonguebird, and writheneck.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n wryneck A twisted or distorted neck; a deformity in which the neck is drawn to one side and rotated. See torticollis.
    • n wryneck A spasmodic disease of sheep, in which the head is drawn to one side.
    • n wryneck A scansorial picarian bird of the genus Iynx (Junx, or Yunx), allied to the woodpeckers, and belonging to the same family or a closely related one: so called from the singular manner in which it can twist the neck, and so turn it awry. The common wryneck of Europe is I. (J. or Y.) torquilla; there are several other similar species. These birds have the toes in pairs, the bill straight and hard, the tongue extremely long, slender, and extensile, and most other characters of the true Picidæ or woodpeckers; but the tail-feathers are soft, broad, and rounded at the ends, and not used in climbing. The wryneck is migratory and insectivorous, and its general habits are similar to those of woodpeckers. It has a variety of names pointiug to its arrival in the British Islands at the same time as the cuckoo, as cuckoo's-fool, -footman, -knave, -leader, -maid, -mate, -messenger, marrow, -whit, etc. It is also called writheneck and snakebird, from the twisting of its neck; long-tongue and tonguebird, from its long tongue; emmet-hunter, from feeding on ants; pea-bird, weet-bird, from its cry; turkey-bird, nilebird, and slab, for some unexplained reasons.
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Usage

In literature:

I could not find the wryneck.
"Birds in Town and Village" by W. H. Hudson
The 'vile squeaking of the wryneck'd fife' is of some musical interest.
"Shakespeare and Music" by Edward W. Naylor
The wryneck was thought to build the nest, and hatch and feed the young of the cuckoo.
"Welsh Folk-Lore a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales" by Elias Owen
Nor the noisy wryneck nor melodious nightingale.
"The Cruise of the Land-Yacht "Wanderer"" by Gordon Stables
Although it can boast of no bright and gaudy colours, the Wryneck is a most elegant bird, both in shape and plumage.
"Nests and Eggs of Familiar British Birds, Second Series" by Henry Gardiner Adams
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