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Yellowhammer (The)

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The eggs of this bird are spotted with red. The tradition is that the bird fluttered about the Cross, and got stained with the blood in its plumage, and by way of punishment its eggs were doomed ever after to bear marks of blood. ʹTis a very lame story, but helps to show how in former times every possible thing was made to bear some allusion to the Redeemer. Because the bird was “cursed,” boys who abstain from plundering the eggs of small birds, were taught that it is as right and proper to destroy the eggs of the bunting as to persecute a Jew. (See Christian Traditions.)

Hammer is a corruption of the German ammer, a bunting.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Year
Yellow
Yellow-bellies
Yellow Book of France
Yellow-boy (A)
Yellow-boy (A)
Yellow Caps
Yellow Dwarf
Yellow Jack
Yellow Jack (The)
Yellowhammer (The)
Yemen
Yeoman (A)
Yeoman’s Service
Yeomen of the Guard
Yeth-Hounds
Yezd
Yggdrasil
Ymir
Yniol
Yoke