Meaning and Origin
What does the name Sparrow mean? Keep reading to find the user submitted meanings, dictionary definitions, and more.
User Submitted Origins
User Submitted Meanings
- A submission from Colorado, U.S. says the name Sparrow means "Bird".
- A submission from the United Kingdom says the name Sparrow means "A type of bird" and is of English origin.
- [Zoöl] One of many species of small singing birds of the family Fringilligæ, having conical bills, and feeding chiefly on seeds. Many sparrows are called also finches, and buntings. The common sparrow, or house sparrow, of Europe (Passer domesticus) is noted for its familiarity, its voracity, its attachment to its young, and its fecundity. See House sparrow, under House.
- [Zoöl] Any one of several small singing birds somewhat resembling the true sparrows in form or habits, as the European hedge sparrow. See under Hedge."He that doth the ravens feed, Yea, providently caters for the sparrow, Be comfort to my age!" [Shak.]
Note: ☞ The following American species are well known; the chipping sparrow, or chippy, the sage sparrow, the savanna sparrow, the song sparrow, the tree sparrow, and the white-throated sparrowsee Peabody bird). See these terms under Sage Savanna, etc.
Etymology: OE. sparwe, AS. spearwa; akin to OHG. sparo, G. sperling, Icel. spörr, Dan. spurv spurre, Sw. sparf, Goth. sparwa; -- originally, probably, the quiverer or flutterer, and akin to E. spurn. See Spurn, and cf. Spavin
- Small brownish European songbird
- Any of several small dull-colored singing birds feeding on seeds or insects
From Middle English sparwe, sparowe, from Old English spearwa (“sparrow”), from Proto-Germanic *sparwô, *sparwaz (“sparrow”), from Proto-Indo-European *sper(w)-, *sper(g)- (“sparrow, bird”). Cognate with Dutch spreeuw (“starling”), Alemannic German Spar (“sparrow”), German Sperling (“sparrow”), Danish and Norwegian Bokmål spurv (“sparrow”), Norwegian Nynorsk sporv (“sparrow”), Swedish sparv (“sparrow”), Breton frao (“crow”), Tocharian A spārāñ, Ancient Greek ψάρ (psár, “starling”).
- The house sparrow, Passer domesticus; a small bird with a short bill, and brown, white and gray feathers.
- A member of the family Passeridae, comprising small Old World songbirds.
- A member of the family Emberizidae, comprising small New World songbirds.
- Generically, any small, nondescript bird.
- (Britain, chiefly London) A quick-witted, lively person. Often used in the phrase cockney sparrow.