1776, "the golden oriole," a bird of Europe, so called from its rich yellow color, from French oriol, Old Provençal auriol, from Medieval Latin oryolus, oriolus (13c.), from Latin aureolus "golden," from PIE *aus- (2) "gold" (see aureate).
Originally in reference to Oriolus galbula, a bird of black and yellow plumage that summers in Europe (but is uncommon in England). The name was applied by 1791 to the unrelated but similarly colored North American species Icterus baltimore.
updated on September 29, 2019