Come on, get farty

A Mental Floss piece on “Innocent Words with Surprisingly Naughty Origins” yielded up this gem:

A partridge is an unremarkable game bird or a living gift that sits in a pear tree, right? Its name should mean something similar to “tasty bird” or “eccentric gift.” Instead, partridge originates from the Greek verb perdesthai, which means “to break wind.” Partridge became the “flatulence bird” because its weight and wing shape cause it to make a low, whirring noise when it takes off, creating a rather unfortunate sound.

The late David Cassidy was not, unfortunately, available for comment.


  1. fillyjonk »

    29 April 2018 · 8:02 am

    Having heard grouse (close relatives to the “fart-bird”) take off, I can attest to this.

  2. McGehee »

    29 April 2018 · 8:51 am

    I wonder whether hunters in the old days thought they were jet-propelled?

  3. Holly H »

    30 April 2018 · 9:15 am

    Yes, I give lectures on raising Monarchs, and it’s awkward when I get to the Hairy Balls milkweed. I’d like to give an innocent explanation for the plant’s name, but another name for the plant is “Family Jewels”, for cryin’ out loud.

    “Gomphocarpus physocarpus: Asclepias physocarpa is the former botanical name, Goose plant, Giant swan milkweed, Hairy balls, Family jewels, Oscar, Cotton-bush, Balloon plant”……..

  4. CGHill »

    30 April 2018 · 9:53 am

    At which point I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this guy.

  5. Holly H »

    30 April 2018 · 2:12 pm

    haha! Don’t get me started about the former speaker of the house (John BAY-ner, right?)

RSS feed for comments on this post