honey-sucker, noun

Origin:
English, South African EnglishShow more Special senses of general English honey-sucker a name used of any creature feeding on honey, including various birds; or formed in South African English.
1. honey-guide.
[1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. II. 155These Gnat-snappers, or Honey-eaters are a sort of guides to the Hottentots in the search of honey.]
1835 A. Steedman Wanderings I. 189The little honey-sucker, or indicator, kept fluttering before us with its cry of cherr, cherr.
2. Any of several species of small, long-beaked sunbirds of the Nectariniidae, the males of which have brightly-coloured plumage, often containing metallic green feathers; sugarbird sense 2; suikerbekje. See also Jangroentjie sense 1.
Note:
See note at sunbird.
1853 F.P. Fleming Kaffraria 76The many species of gaudy little humming-birds, honey-suckers..would amply claim and repay the..talents of a second ‘Gosse.’
1891 R. Russell Natal 36Honey-suckers or sun-birds, that flit like living gems from flower to flower.
1904 Argus Christmas Annual (Cape Colony Sect.) 20A long-tailed honey-sucker.
1907 J.P. Fitzpatrick Jock of Bushveld 269Golden cuckoos there were also and beautiful little green-backed ruby-throated honey-suckers, flitted like butterflies among the flowers on the sunlit fringe of the woods.
1937 M. Alston Wanderings 105When he was drinking his morning cup of coffee, the honeysuckers would come to the trailing jasmine overhead.
1967 S.M.A. Lowe Hungry Veld 93Tiny, long-beaked honey-suckers were the noisiest of all. Their brilliant green and red plumage flashed in the sunlight as they darted about screeching their concern in urgent grating sounds.
1978 McLachlan & Liversidge Roberts’ Birds of S. Afr. 622Honeysucker, see Sunbird.
1983 K.B. Newman Newman’s Birds 444Popular bird names in general use...Honeysuckers, Sunbirds.
honey-guide.
Any of several species of small, long-beaked sunbirds of the Nectariniidae, the males of which have brightly-coloured plumage, often containing metallic green feathers; sugarbird2; suikerbekje.
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17311983