ORIOLE /OH.ree.ole or OH.ree.el/ n. a tropical American songbird
The oriole, by which people usually mean the ‘New World’ oriole, is the common name for a large group of birds belonging to the genus Icterus. Interestingly (for some of us at least) ICTERUS is allowed in Scrabble because of its other medical meaning of ‘jaundice’. This fact is doubly interesting because apparently (i.e. don’t take my word for this) the oriole was so-named because, according to Pliny, the sight of one was capable of curing jaundice.
The oriole comes in about 25 flavors (well, species to the taxonomist, but I’m a bit peckish right now). The tasty specimen I’ve singled out in the picture above is called the TROUPIAL (or TROOPIAL if you don’t quite have the right letters), which is the national bird of Venezuela. (The troupial is renowned for being a ‘nest pirate’, but I won’t offend my Venezuelan fans by assuming that’s why they chose it.)
Other birds with fun names that are close cousins of the oriole include the BOBOLINK, the GRACKLE, the COWBIRD, and the high-scoring CACIQUE.
P.S. For Collins/CSW/SOWPODS players, you also get to enjoy playing ICTERID (a member of a family of birds encompassing the orioles) and LORIOT (the golden oriole).