(syn. Diomedea Ϯ Wandering Albatross D. exulans) French Albatros  albatross; "Genus Albatri.  Genre de l'Albatros" (Brisson 1760); based on "Vaisseau de Guerre" of Albin 1731-1738 (?= Fregata), "Plautus Albatrus" of Klein 1750, "Albatross" of Edwards 1751, and Diomedea exulans Linnaeus, 1758.  Albatross and its European equivalents are the definitive spellings of a word that has undergone dramatic corruption since its birth in the Arabic name al qadus for the leathern bucket used in irrigation. This name early Spanish and Portuguese explorers adopted as “Alcatras” or “Alcaduz” and gave to the pelican Pelecanus, with reference to its capacious bill. The name was mistakenly identified and applied vaguely to other large water-birds, firstly by English navigators to the frigatebirds Fregata and finally, via Alcatraza, Alcatraze, Algatross, and Albitross, to the present species of this family (cf. “The name is thought to derive from the Portuguese word alcatraz, meaning pelican (itself a corruption of the Arabic al-gattas, meaning diver or plunger)” (Moore 2006)). Var. Albatros.

Search for more names on the Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology by James A. Jobling.
Recommended citation
Jobling, J. A. (2018). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2018). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2018).