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Origin of animal names: CARDINAL


“One would think that such an attractive creature would have given its name to many things, but in fact it is the other way around. The bird’s name comes from the red-robed official of the Roman Catholic Church, who in turn was named for being so important-that is, from the adjective cardinal, from the Latin cardo, meaning ‘hinge’ or ‘pivot’. Anything cardinal was so important that events depended (hinged or pivoted) on it.” (From It’s Raining Cats and Dogs, by Christine Ammer)

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