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gar·ga·ney (gärgə-nē)
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n. pl. gar·ga·neys
A small migratory duck (Anas querquedula) that breeds in Eurasia and has a white stripe over each eye.

[Popularized as a name for the species after being mentioned by Conrad Gesner in his Historiae Animalium, from Lombard (dialect of the Swiss canton of Ticino) gargenei, a diminutive formation (probably making reference to its feeding by skimming rather than dabbling or to the male's distinctive rattling call like a guiro or washboard) akin to Italian garganella in bere a garganella, to take a continuous drink by holding a bottle high and pouring it into the mouth, and Old Italian garganello, throat, both probably ultimately from dissimilation of earlier *gargalella, diminutive of *gargala, throat, from Late Latin gargala, trachea, from a root *garg-, throat, imitative of gargling (compare Greek gargareōn, uvula, trachea).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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