Barbary duck

noun

Definition of Barbary duck

: muscovy duck
  • Sometimes called Barbary ducks, Muscovy ducks have a bumpy red face that resembles a turkey.
  • —Steve DoyleHuntsville (Alabama) Times10 Mar. 2010
; especially :the flesh of the Muscovy duck used as food
  • The kitchen marinates Barbary duck in red wine and serves it in a rich sauce based on aromatic herbs and wild berries.
  • —Max JacobsonLos Angeles Times6 May 1994

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Origin and Etymology of barbary duck

after Barbary (North Africa), probably as translation of French canard de Barbarie
Note: The vernacular name reflects the tradition in pre-Linnaean biology (e.g., the Ornithologia of Ulisse Aldrovandi) that the bird was native to North Africa—also apparent in the Linnaean genus name Cairina, literally, “Cairene.”


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