Definition of willie wagtail in English:

Share this entry

willie wagtail

(also willy wagtail)

noun

1Australian A common Australian monarch flycatcher with striking black and white plumage.
  • Rhipidura leucophrys, family Monarchidae. Alternative name: black and white fantail.
Example sentences
  • Meanwhile, a willy wagtail alights on the roof of the greenhouse, waggling smugly to itself, dancing through sheer joie de vivre, it seems, whilst a string of silvery notes glitters from its throat.
  • The school is generally called the Tjintitjinturrpa school, this name being again from a major local Tjukurrpa, the willy wagtail bird.
  • However, we found that other Australian species (e.g., grey fantails and willie wagtails) ejected all nonmimetic eggs.
1.1British informal The pied wagtail.
Example sentences
  • The Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba), is a common British bird, seen throughout the UK all year round. It gets it's name from the constant wagging of it's tail. It's known in parts of Ireland as a ‘Willie Wagtail’.
  • You can spot a wagtail because it often wags its tail up and down. The nickname for a pied wagtail is a ‘Willie Wagtail’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wil¦lie wag|tail

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.