Flame of the woods
Lasair choille or ‘flame of the woods’ is the Irish name for the goldfinch (carduelis carduelis), two of which I saw on my apple tree this morning. I like to know the names of birds and other creatures in the my languages, and particularly liked the Irish version when I discovered it.
The Irish word lasair means flame or blame comes from las (to light, inflame, ignite, blush). It probably shares the same root as the English word lamp, which comes from the French word lampe, from the Latin lampas, from the Greek λαμπάς (to shine).
In Welsh the goldfinch is known as nico, but has many other names, including jac nico, teiliwr llundain (London tailor), peneuryn (head gold jewel?), eurbinc (gold pink), pobliw (every colour), soldiwr bach y werddon (little soldier of the green place/oasis), cnot, ysnoden felen (yellow band) and asgell aur (gold wing).
The English word finch comes from the Old English finc, possibly from the Old Germanic *finki-z or finkjon, which is thought to be of echoic origin.
Names for the goldfinch in many other languages can be found on the avibase.