magnificent bird of Central America with brilliant plumage, 1827, from Spanish quetzal, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) quetzalli, "tail-feather." The full bird name in Nahuatl was quetzaltototl, with tototl "bird."
"of two different colors, having spots or patches of white and black or another color," 1580s, formed from pie (n.2) "magpie" + bald in its older sense of "spotted, white;" in reference to the black-and-white plumage of the magpie. Hence, "of mixed character, heterogeneous, mongrel" (1580s). Properly only of black-and-white colorings (compare skewbald).
"bright flame, fire," Old English blæse "a torch, firebrand; bright glowing flame," from Proto-Germanic *blas- "shining, white" (source also of Old Saxon blas "white, whitish," Middle High German blas "bald," originally "white, shining," Old High German blas-ros "horse with a white spot," Middle Dutch and Dutch bles, German Blesse "white spot," blass "pale, whitish"), from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn."
type of cookie (made by Nabisco), 1912; the source of the name has been forgotten. As a derogatory word for "black person felt to have a 'white' mentality," 1968, African-American vernacular, from the snack cookies, which consist of dark chocolate wafers and white sugar cream filling (hence "brown outside, white inside"). Compare radish-communist (1920), one who proclaims enthusiasm for the Party but privately opposes it, on the notion of red outside, white inside.
It forms all or part of: argent; Argentina; argentine; Argo; argue; Argus; hydrargyrum; litharge.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit rajata-, Avestan erezata-, Old Persian ardata-, Armenian arcat, Greek arguron, Latin argentum, Old Irish argat, Breton arc'hant "silver;" Sanskrit arjuna- "white, shining;" Hittite harki- "white;" Greek argos "white."
"dealer in ornamental feathers, one who prepares plumes for ornamental purposes," 1590s, from French plumassier, from plumasse "plume of feather," from plume (see plume (n.)). Earlier was plumer "dealer in feathers" (late 13c.).