common small European songbird, 1540s, a shortening of Robin Redbreast (mid-15c.), from masc. personal name Robin, also (in reference to the bird) in the diminutive form robinet. Redbreast alone for the bird is from early 15c., and the Robin might have been added for the alliteration. It ousted the native ruddock. In North America, the name was applied to the red-breasted thrush by 1703.
Robin's egg as a shade of somewhat greenish blue is attested from 1881; it refers to the North American species; the English robin's eggs are pinkish-white and freckled with purplish-red.
masc. proper name, from Old French Robin, diminutive of Robert (q.v.). Robin Goodfellow, "sportive elf or domestic fairy of the English countryside," said to be the offspring of King Oberon of Fairyland and a mortal, is attested by 1530s (Tyndale), popular 16-17c.; Robin Hood is from at least late 14c.
"petition or complaint signed in a circle to disguise the order in which names were affixed and prevent ringleaders from being identified," 1730, originally in reference to sailors and frequently identified as a nautical term. As a kind of tournament in which each player plays the others, it is recorded from 1895.
marsh-robin, 1730, so called for the note of its cry.
"redbreast, European robin," Middle English ruddoke, from late Old English rudduc, from rudu "red color," related to read "red" (from PIE root *reudh- "red, ruddy") + diminutive suffix -ock.
city in Minnesota, U.S., founded 1850s and named for French pioneer explorer Daniel Greysolon, sieur du Luth, "the Robin Hood of Canada," the leader of the coureurs de bois, who passed through the region in 1678 on a mission into the wilderness.
1838, "South American fox-wolf," from Spanish zorro, masc. of zorra "fox," from Basque azaria "fox." The comic book hero, a variation on the Robin Hood theme set in old Spanish California, was created 1919 by U.S. writer Johnston McCulley (1883-1958).
common name of a work-horse or farm horse, 1596 (in "Merchant of Venice"), probably from diminutive form of Dob (early 13c.), the common Middle English familiar form of the masc. proper name Robin or Robert; the personal name being applied to a horse.