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Spangled drongo

spangled drongo

Spangled drongo, Dicrurus bracteatus, IMG 3463 - In the 1920s, Australian punters urged on a racehorse named Drongo, and although it frequently crossed the finish line in second or third place, it failed to win any of its 37 races. After Drongo’s retirement, its name became the nickname for other horses that were equally unlucky, and eventually Australians began to use the word ‘drongo’ as a derogatory reference to anyone who was not only unlucky, but was also a no-hoper or a fool. There’s nothing remotely foolish about the bird that’s known as the spangled drongo however, for its colloquial name was derived not from that of a nag, but from the indigenous word for a bird of similar appearance that once inhabited the forests of Madagascar.

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