corbeau (plural corbeaux)
- The black vulture, Coragyps atratus.
2011, V. S. Naipaul, A Way in the World, →ISBN:
- The local corbeaux, black, heavy, hunched, hopped about the slopes of rubbish; the children of the shanty town ran between the traffic on the rubbish-strewn highway to get to the dump.
2014, Lawrence Scott, Night Calypso, →ISBN:
- A whale man, if you see a whale. It beach. It taking up the whole of La Tinta. You not see the corbeaux? The Marines say they think it must be dead.
2016, Elizabeth Nunez, Prospero's Daughter, →ISBN, page 317:
- Across the blue sky, a big black bird, a vulture, a corbeau. It swooped down low and landed, its long, ringed legs trembling as it anchored itself on the branch of a thick-trunked tree. Around it, more corbeaux, cemetery gargoyles guarding the dead.
- (historical) A man who carts away the dead plague victims.
1972, David Victor Glass & Roger Revelle, Population and social change, page 234:
- By 8 August, it was necessary to conscript beggars to bury the dead because the corbeaux, special bearers of plague-striken corpses, no longer sufficed for the task.
2001, A Social History of the Cloister, →ISBN, page 212:
- The next day she died and her body was removed by the corbeaux (the men who carted away the dead) - an ignominious death like that of Jesus Christ, wrote the annalist.
2012, Marie-Hélène Huet, The Culture of Disaster, →ISBN, page 28:
- By late summer, the magistrates themselves admitted their helplessness. They called in the notorious and dreaded corbeaux—convicts promised a commutation of their sentence in exhange for performing the dangerous task of removing the bodies.
From Old French corbeau, from Old French corbel, itself either a diminutive of corp (“raven”), corf, or from a Late Latin corbellus, corvellus, from Latin corvus (Vulgar Latin variant *corbus), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ḱorh₂wós.
- “corbeau” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).