Barbary duck


Definition of Barbary duck

: muscovy duck Sometimes called Barbary ducks, Muscovy ducks have a bumpy red face that resembles a turkey.— Steve Doyle, Huntsville (Alabama) Times, 10 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 Jacobson, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 1994

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First Known Use of Barbary duck

1775, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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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The first known use of Barbary duck was in 1775

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Cite this Entry

“Barbary duck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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