also peregrin, type of large, spirited falcon, 1550s, short for peregrine falcon (late 14c.), from Old French faulcon pelerin (mid-13c.), from Medieval Latin falco peregrinus, from Latin peregrinus "coming from foreign parts," from peregre (adv.) "abroad," properly "from abroad, found outside Roman territory," from per "away" (see per) + agri, locative of ager "field, territory, land, country" (from PIE root *agro- "field"). The original implications of the term in falconry are not clear; they may have been of a bird "caught in transit," as opposed to one taken from the nest. Peregrine as an adjective in English meaning "not native, foreign" is attested from 1520s.
updated on March 30, 2020