Etymology
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lapwing (n.)
Middle English lappewinke (late 14c.), lapwyngis (early 15c.), folk etymology alteration of Old English hleapewince "lapwing," probably literally "leaper-winker," from hleapan "to leap" (see leap (v.)) + wince "totter, waver, move rapidly," related to wincian "to wink" (see wink (v.)).

Said to be so called from "the manner of its flight" [OED] "in reference to its irregular flapping manner of flight" [Barnhart], but the lapwing also flaps on the ground pretending to have a broken wing to lure egg-hunters away from its nest, which seems a more logical explanation. Its Greek name was polyplagktos "luring on deceitfully."
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pewee (n.)
"flycatcher, lapwing," 1810, variant of pewit (q.v.). See also peewee.
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peewit (n.)

also pewit, "lapwing" (still the usual name for it in Scotland), also applied to various other birds, 1520s, imitative of its cry. Compare Flemish piewit-voghel; Dutch piewit, kiewit; Middle Low German kivit; German kiwitz; Russian chibezu "lapwing;" also see kibitz. Middle English had peuen, of a kite, "to cry plaintively" (early 15c.) and pewewe was given as the sound of the plaintive cry of some bird (mid-15c.).

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kibitz (v.)

"to look on at a card game and offer unwelcome advice," 1915, from Yiddish kibitsen "to offer gratuitous advice as an outsider," from German kiebitzen "to look on at cards, to kibitz," originally in Rotwelsch (thieves' cant) "to visit," from Kiebitz, name of a shore bird (European peewit, lapwing) with a folk reputation as a meddler, from Middle High German gibitz "pewit," imitative of its cry (see peewit). Young lapwings are proverbially precocious and active, and were said to run around with half-shells still on their heads soon after hatching. Related: Kibitzing. Also see kibitzer.

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partridge (n.)

"type of four-toed Eurasian bird," c. 1300, partrich (late 12c. as a surname, Ailwardus Pertiz), from Old French pertis, alteration of perdis (perhaps influenced by fem. suffix -tris), from Latin perdicem (nominative perdix) "plover, lapwing," from Greek perdix, the Greek partridge, a name probably related to perdesthai "to break wind," in reference to the whirring noise of the bird's wings, from PIE imitative base *perd- "to break wind" (source also of Sanskrit pardate "breaks wind," Lithuanian perdžiu, persti, Russian perdet, Old High German ferzan, Old Norse freta, Middle English farten).

At first the word had many variant spellings; the forms in -g- emerge by mid-15c. The name was applied to similar but unrelated species in the Americas from 1630s.

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