From Dutch kaketielje, possibly a diminutive of kaketoe (“cockatoo”) or derived in Dutch from a diminutive of Portuguese cacatua (“cockatoo”) such as cacatilho or cacatelho. Attested in English since the mid nineteenth century.
cockatiel (plural cockatiels)
- Nymphicus hollandicus, a small, rather atypical cockatoo with a distinctive pointed yellow crest. Comes in many color mutations such as White Face Gray, White Face Pearl, Fallow, Pearl Pied, Cinnamon Pearl, and White Face Pied. Native to Australia but most known in aviculture.
- 1871, Norfolk (pseudonym), “Cockatiels”, in The Exchange and Mart, volume 4, number 139, page 481:
- The smaller parrakeets, such as budgerigars, turquoisines, and love birds, delight In going in and out of the cocoa nuts, but I never saw a cockatiel enter one, nor do I see how they could do so without detriment to their long tails.