Etymology
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merganser (n.)

genus of duck-like water birds of the northern hemisphere, 1752, coined in Modern Latin (1550s), from Latin mergus "waterfowl, diver" (from mergere "to dip, immerse;" see merge (v.)) + anser "goose" (see goose (n.)).

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cacciatore (adj.)
in cookery, "hunter-style," by 1973, from Italian, literally "hunter," from past participle of cacciare "to hunt, chase" (see chase (v.)).
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chivvy (v.)

"harass," 1918, from alternative form of chevy (1830) "to chase," from a noun chevy (1824, also used as a hunting cry, c. 1785), from chevy chase "a running pursuit," probably from the "Ballad of Chevy Chase," a popular song from 15c. describing a hunting party on the borderland that turned into a battle between the English and the Scots (the incident probably dates from late 14c.). The place is probably originally Cheviot Chase (see chase (n.1)).

The old song of Chevy-Chase is the favourite ballad of the common people of England, and Ben Jonson used to say, he had rather have been the author of it than of all his works. [Addison, "Spectator" No. 70, May 21, 1711]
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chasse (n.)

French chassé "chase, chasing," past participle of chasser "to chase, hunt" (see chase (v.)), borrowed 19c. into English in a variety of senses and expressions, such as "chaser" (in the drinking sense), short for chasse-café, literally "coffee-chaser." Also as a dance step (1867).

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venery (n.2)
"hunting, the sports of the chase," early 14c., from Old French venerie, from Medieval Latin venaria "beasts of the chase, game," from Latin venari "to hunt, pursue," which is probably from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for."
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deer (n.)

Old English deor "wild animal, beast, any wild quadruped," in early Middle English also used of ants and fish, from Proto-Germanic *deuzam, the general Germanic word for "animal" (as opposed to man), but often restricted to "wild animal" (source also of Old Frisian diar, Dutch dier, Old Norse dyr, Old High German tior, German Tier "animal," Gothic dius "wild animal," also see reindeer).

This is perhaps from PIE *dheusom "creature that breathes," from root *dheu- (1) "cloud, breath" (source also of Lithuanian dusti "gasp," dvėsti "gasp, perish;" Old Church Slavonic dychati "breathe"). For possible prehistoric sense development, compare Latin animal from anima "breath").

The sense specialization to a specific animal began in Old English (the usual Old English word for what we now call a deer was heorot; see hart), was common by 15c., and is now complete. It happened probably via hunting, deer being the favorite animal of the chase (compare Sanskrit mrga- "wild animal," used especially for "deer"). 

Deer-lick "salty spot where deer come to lick," is attested by 1778, in an American context. The deer-mouse (1840) is so called for its agility.

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barnacle (n.)

early 14c., bernak; earlier in Anglo-Latin, bernekke, early 13c., "species of northern European wild goose;" as a type of "shellfish" found in clusters on submerged wood, first recorded 1580s. Of unknown origin despite intense speculation.

The earliest form looks like "bare neck," and one of the Middle English synonyms was balled cote, but this might be folk etymology. The word is often said to be from a Celtic source (compare Breton bernik, a kind of shellfish), but the application to the goose predates that of the shellfish, and the word seems to have arisen in English.

The goose nests in the Arctic in summer and returns to Europe in the winter, hence the mystery surrounding its reproduction. It was believed in ancient superstition (and as recently as late 17c.) to hatch or develop from the barnacle's shell, possibly because the crustacean's feathery stalks resemble goose down. Some versions of the fable had the barnacles growing on trees and dropping into the sea to become geese. Compare German Entenmuschel "barnacle," literally "duck-mussel."

For I tolde hem, that in oure Countree weren Trees, that beren a Fruyt, that becomen Briddes fleeynge; and tho that fellen in the Water, lyven; and thei that fallen on the Erthe, dyen anon: and thei ben right gode to Mannes mete. And here of had thei als gret marvaylle, that sume of hem trowed it were an impossible thing to be. [Sir John Mandeville, "Voiage and Travaile," mid-14c.]

The scientific name of the crustacean, Cirripedes, is from Greek cirri "curls of hair" + pedes "feet." Meaning "person holding tenaciously to an office or position, useless or incompetent jobholder" is from c. 1600.

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wildebeest (n.)
1838, from South African Dutch (in modern Afrikaans wildebees, plural wildebeeste), literally "wild beast," from Dutch wild "wild" (see wild (adj.)) + beest "beast, ox" (in South African Dutch "steer, cattle"), from Middle Dutch beeste, from Old French beste "beast" (see beast).
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wildlife (n.)
also wild life, "fauna of a region," 1879, from wild (adj.) + life.
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coccagee (n.)

type of apple in high repute 19c. for cider, 1727, from Irish cac a gheidh, literally goose-turd; so called for its greenish color.

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