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Poll the parrot Options
frosty rime
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:34:55 AM
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Joined: 7/4/2012
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Hi all,

Poll is the name of the parrot in Robinson Crusoe.
Do any of you know why the author named him Poll?

Ta in advance,


Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:45:38 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom

"Polly" is a traditional name for any parrot, a little like "puss" for a cat.

No idea why ...
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:48:22 AM
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No idea ...except that poll is short for polly a name traditionally given to parrots.

PS: Whoops... crossover with Dragonspeaker
thar
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:54:57 AM

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apparently the earliest written evidence OED has is Ben Jonson 1616, but that is not to say he was not using a common name for it

Ben Jonson

E P I G R A M S .


LXXI. — ON COURT PARROT.


To pluck down mine, POLL sets up new wits still;
Still 'tis his luck to praise me 'gainst his will.


mister_moon
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 3:43:27 PM
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Location: United Kingdom
The earliest recorded use of Poll as a name for a parrot comes in Ben Jonson's play Every Man Out of his Humour [First acted: 1599 Pub.:1600]. The character, Fastidious Brisk, believing himself speaking to someone he cannot see, but that is actually a parrot, says "Would you speake to mee Sir?", to be answered by Carlo Buffone, "I, when he has recouered himselfe: poore Poll." [OED]. By the time Defoe published Robinson Crusoe in 1719 the term had been in use for over a century.
uuaschbaer
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 4:04:06 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/18/2009
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Mary --> Moll --> Poll --> Polly, apparently. Don't know why this would be helpful but I've typed it already.
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