bird of the family Psittacidae, widespread in the tropics and noted for beautiful plumage and a fleshy tongue, which gives it the ability to learn to articulate words and sentences, 1520s, a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal French perrot, from a variant of Pierre "Peter;" or perhaps a dialectal form of perroquet (see parakeet). Replaced earlier popinjay. The German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in South America in 1800 encountered a very old parrot that was the sole speaker of a dead native language, the original tribe having gone extinct.
"repeat by rote, mechanically and without understanding," 1590s, from parrot (n.). Related: Parroted; parroting.
updated on December 08, 2020