sprew, noun

Forms:
spreeu, spreeuwShow more Also spreeu, spreeuw, spreu, spreuw, sprieu, sprue.
Origin:
Dutch, AfrikaansShow more Englished form of Dutch spreeuw thrush. (The modern Afrikaans form is spreeu.)
Note:
Although there is a great deal of uncertainty among English-speakers as to the spelling of this word, ‘sprew’ is the form which occurs most frequently.
1. Any of several starlings of the Sturnidae, especially a. Spreo bicolor; b. Sturnus vulgaris; and c. any of the glossy starlings of the genus Lamprotornis.
Note:
In G.L. Maclean’s Roberts' Birds of Sn Afr. (1993), the name ‘pied starling’ is used for Spreo bicolor, and ‘European starling’ for Sturnus vulgaris.
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. II. 48A kind of Corvus, (or crow) called Spreuw, was found both here and in several other places in great plenty.
1987 M. Poland Train to Doringbult 172At ten to two the children flew out of the house like sprews migrating.
2. With distinguishing epithet:
green sprew, Lamprotornis nitens of the Sturnidae;
red-winged sprew, Onychognathus morio of the Sturnidae;
witgat sprew /ˈvətxat-/ [Afrikaans, wit white + gat hole, vent], Spreo bicolor of the Sturnidae;
yellow sprew (?obsolete), in the Eastern Cape, Oriolus larvatus of the Oriolidae (more commonly called black-headed oriole).
[1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 318The beautiful Groene spreeuw (Green Thrush).]
1923 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 156The last member of the family is the Black-headed Oriole..fairly common in the Albany and Bathurst Divisions of the Cape Province, where it is often known as the Yellow Spreeuw.
Spreo bicolor;
Sturnus vulgaris; and
any of the glossy starlings of the genus Lamprotornis.

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17951987