1. rq says

    So, is it ‘yellow-whammer’ or ‘yellow-hammer’? And is it in any way related to Lillahammer…?

  2. says

    @rq I would much like to figure out the etymology of this name, because these tiny birds are incapable of either whamming or hammering, but they are definively yellow.
    They will be even more bright yellow in the summer.

  3. blf says

    The entomology of yellowhammer is uncertain. Unfortunately the Oxford site is behind a paywall. Some other sites suggest it comes from yellow-ammer, where ammer is supposedly French (I don’t recognise that word, except as a name). Other sites suggest the mysterious -hammer is from apparently OE -amore, for example:

    1550–60; earlier also yelamber, yelambre, probably continuing Old English *geolu-amore, equivalent. to geolu “yellow” + amore presumably, the bunting (cognate with Old Saxon amer, Old High German amaro; see “emberizine“); forms with -h- perh. reflect blending with another etymon, later conformed to “hammer” (compare dialect, dialectal yellowham)

Leave a Reply