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    #1

    nib

    I have a question about the usage of this word. I know it means 'beak', but I see it's not mentioned here. Is it because the word is much less used than 'beak' and 'bill'? Or maybe it's more of literary use? Perhaps ironically, the word 'nibble' that derived from 'nib' is present in the article.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: nib

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    I have a question about the usage of this word. I know it means 'beak', but I see it's not mentioned here. Is it because the word is much less used than 'beak' and 'bill'? Or maybe it's more of literary use? Perhaps ironically, the word 'nibble' that derived from 'nib' is present in the article.
    That's why Wikipedia shouldn't be used as a serious reference much of the time. It's not exhaustive. Online dictionaries and thesauruses (thesauri?) are much more reliable.

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    #3

    Re: nib

    So, to make sure: the word is still used, no less then the other two?

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    #4

    Re: nib

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    So, to make sure: the word is still used, no less then the other two?
    Ah, sorry, I forgot about your question! Personally, I don't think I have ever heard the word nib used when talking about the beak or bill of a bird. Ornithology experts may use it, but in general speech I would say it's very rare.

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    #5

    Re: nib

    Thank you, that settles it I think. One more question, what are you more likely to say: a beak or a bill?

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    #6

    Re: nib

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    Thank you, that settles it I think. One more question, what are you more likely to say: a beak or a bill?
    To me, it depends on the size of the beak (or bill). A small bird with a small beak would have a beak! However, for something bigger with a much bigger "nib" (for example, a puffin or a toucan) I would probably use bill. This may be an entirely personal preference though, I don't know if there is a technical/biological difference.

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