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Cuculidae
ホトトギス科
hototogisu ka

杜鹃科
dù-juān kē

杜鵑科
dù-juān kē

뻐꾸기과
ppeokkugi-gwa

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General

Information is from dictionaries and other sources. Species list may not be current. Korean glosses are tentative. Comments and corrections welcome. Hover over Green Lettering Green lettering at this site hides a tool tip with glosses, further explanations, etc. Hover cursor to reveal. to see additional information.

There is a rich variety of names for the cuckoos in Japanese. This stems partly from a preoccupation with the cuckoo's distinctive calls in traditional culture, especially poetry. As in other cultures, names tend to reflect the cry of the birds. They include:

Name Characters Referent Notes
カッコウ
kakkō
郭公 General name for cuckoos. Name borrowed from Chinese
ホトトギス
hototogisu
時鳥, 杜鵑, 不如帰 Cuculus poliocephalus Famous in traditional Japanese poetry as a bird of early summer. Cuculus poliocephalus has many literary names, some reflecting the belief that the bird crosses over from the afterworld
ツツドリ
tsutsu-dori
筒鳥
'pipe bird'
Cuculus saturatus So named because voice resembles the hitting of a pipe
ジュウイチ
jū-ichi
十一 'eleven' Cuculus fugax Name reflects call

Many literary names of the cuckoos have been borrowed from Chinese (for examples, see the main table of species names).

CULTURAL

In Japanese haiku, the Lesser Cuckoo Cuculus poliocephalus or hototogisu is a season word for summer. Hototogisu is written with a variety of Chinese characters: 時鳥, 子規, 杜鵑, 不如帰, 郭公, mostly derived from Chinese.

The Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus, referred to as the 閑古鳥 kanko-dori, 郭公 kakkō, かっこ鳥 kakko-dori, or by other names, is also a season word for summer.

The forlorn cry of the cuckoo is the origin of the expression 閑古鳥が鳴いている kanko-dori ga naite iru 'The cuckoo is calling', used to describe a place (shop, theatre, etc.) that is deserted of visitors or customers.

Species names

› ABOUT THIS TABLE‹
CUCULINAE
SCIENTIFIC & WESTERN
JAPANESE
CHINESE
KOREAN
PHAENICOPHAEINI
Clamator
Latin
Eng, Fr, Ger, Ru
Japanese
Other J
Chinese
Chinese (Taiwan)
Other Ch
Korean
Clamator coromandus
link to photo
Chestnut-winged cuckoo
Red-winged crested cuckoo

Coucou à collier
Koromandelkuckuck
カンムリカッコウ
(冠郭公)
kanmuri kakkō
'crested cuckoo' (onomat. 'cuckoo', characters mean = 'city outer wall' + 'public')
  红翅凤头鹃
(紅翅鳳頭鵑)
hóng-chì fèng-tóu juān
'red-winged phoenix-headed cuckoo'
(冠郭公)
冠郭公
guān guōgōng
'crested guogong' (onomat.)
红翅凤头郭公
(紅翅鳳頭郭公)
hóng-chì fèng-tóu guōgōng
'red-winged phoenix-headed guogong' (onomat.) (FS)
밤색날개뻐꾸기
bamsaeng-nalgae-ppeokkugi
'chestnut-winged cuckoo'
CUCULINI
Surniculus
Latin
Eng, Fr, Ger, Ru
Japanese
Other J
Chinese
Chinese (Taiwan)
Other Ch
Korean
Surniculus lugubris
link to photo
Drongo Cuckoo
Asian Drongo-Cuckoo
Drongo-cuckoo

Coucou surnicou
Drongokuckuck
オウチュウカッコウ
(烏秋郭公)
ōchū kakkō
'drongo cuckoo' (onomat., 'cuckoo' characters mean = 'city outer wall' + 'public')
  乌鹃
(烏鵑)
wū-juān
'dark cuckoo'
(乌鹃)
烏鵑
wū-juān
'dark cuckoo'
卷尾鹃
(卷尾鵑)
juǎn-wěi-juān
'curl-tailed(=drongo) cuckoo' (FS)
乌喀咕
(烏喀咕)
wū-kēgū (wū kāgū)
'dark (or crow) cuckoo' (FS)
검은두견이
geomeun-dugyeoni
'black dugyeoni' ( dugyeoni from Chinese)
Hierococcyx
Latin
Eng, Fr, Ger, Ru
Japanese
Other J
Chinese
Chinese (Taiwan)
Other Ch
Korean
Hierococcyx sparverioides
Cuculus sparverioides
link to photolink to photo
Large Hawk Cuckoo
Large Hawk-cuckoo
オオジュウイチ
(大十一)
ō jū-ichi
'large ju-ichi' (onomat.) (ju-ichi written 'eleven')
  鹰鹃
(鷹鵑)
yīng-juān
'hawk cuckoo'
(鹰鹃)
鷹鵑
yīng-juān
'hawk cuckoo'
鹰头杜鹃
(鷹頭杜鵑)
yīng-tóu dùjuān
'hawk-headed cuckoo' (FS)
大鹰鹃
(大鷹鵑)
dà yīng-juān
'large hawk cuckoo' (FS)
子规
(子規)
zǐguī
'zigui' (FS)
佛鴂
(佛鴂)
fójué
'buddhist jue' (FS)
大鹰喀咕
(大鷹咯咕)
dà yīng kāgū ~ kēgū
'large hawk cuckoo'
큰매사촌
keun-mae-sachon
'large hawk cousin'
Hierococcyx hyperythrus
Cuculus hyperythrus
Northern Hawk-cuckoo
Rufous Hawk-Cuckoo

Coucou de Chine
Fluchtkuckuck-hyperythrus
キタジュウイチ
(北十一)
kita jū-ichi
'north ju-ichi' (onomat.) (ju-ichi written 'eleven')
  北棕腹杜鹃
(北棕腹杜鵑)
běi zōng-fù dù-juān
'north reddishbrown-bellied cuckoo' (2)
(北方杜鹃)
北方鷹鵑
běifāng dù-juān
'northern cuckoo'
  매사촌
mae-sachon
'hawk cousin'
Cuculus
Latin
Eng, Fr, Ger, Ru
Japanese
Other J
Chinese
Chinese (Taiwan)
Other Ch
Korean
Cuculus micropterus
link to photo
Indian cuckoo
Short-winged cuckoo

Coucou à ailes courtes
Kurzflügelkuckuck
Индийская кукушка
セグロカッコウ
(背黒郭公)
se-guro kakkō
'black-backed cuckoo' (onomat. 'cuckoo', characters mean = 'city outer wall' + 'public')
  四声杜鹃
(四聲杜鵑)
sì-shēng dù-juān
'four-voiced cuckoo'
(四声杜鹃)
四聲杜鵑
sì-shēng dù-juān
'four-voiced cuckoo'
布谷
(布穀)
bùgǔ
'bùgǔ' (onomat.)
光棍好过
(光棍好過)
guānggùn hǎo guò
'bachelor lives well'
光棍背钮
(光棍背鈕)
guānggùn bèi niu
'bachelor back button ?' (onomat.)
快快割麦
(快快割麥)
kuài kuài gē mài
'hurry and reap the wheat' (onomat.)
花喀咕
(花喀咕)
huā kēgū (huā kāgū)
'flowery kegu/kagu' (onomat.)
印度喀咕
(印度喀咕)
yìndù kēgū (yìndù kāgū)
'Indian kegu/kagu' (onomat.)
刮锅
(刮鍋)
guā guō
'scrape pot' (onomat.)
검은등뻐꾸기
geomeun-deung-ppeokkugi
'black-backed cuckoo' (onomat.)
Cuculus canorus
link to photolink to photolink to photo
Common cuckoo
Eurasian cuckoo
Cuckoo

Coucou gris
Kuckuck
Обыкновенная кукушка
カッコウ
(郭公)
kakkō
'cuckoo'(onomat., characters mean = 'city outer wall' + 'public')
カンコドリ
(閑古鳥)
kanko-dori
'kanko bird' (characters mean 'idle' + 'old')
ガッポウドリ
(合法鳥)
gappō-dori
'gappo bird' (onomat., written 'accord with-the-law bird')
カッコウドリ
(郭公鳥)
kakkō-dori
'cuckoo bird'
See Hiraizumi
大杜鹃
(大杜鵑)
dà dùjuān
'large cuckoo'
(大杜鹃)
大杜鵑
dà dùjuān
'large cuckoo'
Taiwan formerly:
(布谷)
布穀
bùgǔ
'bùgǔ' (onomat.)
布谷鸟
(布穀鳥)
bùgǔ-niǎo
'bùgǔ bird' (onomat.)
布谷
(布穀)
bùgǔ
'bùgǔ' (onomat.) (31)
郭公
(郭公)
guōgōng
'guōgōng' (onomat.) (characters mean 'city outer wall' + 'public') (FS)
杜鹃
(杜鵑)
dùjuān
'cuckoo'
鸤鸠
(鳲鳩)
shì jiū
'shi dove' (FS)
喀咕
(喀咕)
kēgū (kāgū)
'kegu/kagu' (onomat.) (FS)
뻐꾸기
ppeokkugi
'cuckoo' (onomat.)
Cuculus saturatus
link to photolink to photolink to photo
Himalayan cuckoo
Oriental cuckoo

Coucou gris
Hopfkuckuck
Глухая кукушка
ツツドリ
(筒鳥)
tsutsu-dori
'tube bird' (cry resembles sound of hitting a tube or pipe) (shared with Cuculus optatus)
ポンポンドリ
(ぽんぽん鳥)
ponpon-dori
'ponpon bird' (onomat.)
See Hiraizumi
中杜鹃
(中杜鵑)
zhōng dù-juān
'medium cuckoo'
(中杜鹃)
中杜鵑
zhōng dù-juān
'medium cuckoo'
Taiwan formerly:
(筒鸟)
筒鳥
tǒng-niǎo
'tube bird'
中喀咕
(中喀咕)
zhōng kēgū (zhōng kāgū)
'medium kegu/kagu' (onomat.) (FS)
蓬蓬鸟
(蓬蓬鳥)
péng-péng-niǎo
'dishevelled bird' (FS)
山郭公
(山郭公)
shān guōgōng
'mountain guōgōng' (onomat.) (characters mean 'city outer wall' + 'public') (FS)
벙어리뻐꾸기
beongeori-ppeokkugi
'mute cuckoo' (onomat.)
Cuculus poliocephalus
link to photolink to photo
Lesser cuckoo
Small cuckoo

Petit Coucou
Gackelkuckuck
Малая кукушка
ホトトギス
(時鳥, 子規, 杜鵑, 不如帰, 郭公)
hototogisu
'hototogisu' (written 1. 'time bird, 2. shiki (from Chinese), 3. token, from Chinese, 4. funyoki = better-go-back', 5. kakko, see Cuculus canorus above).
アヤメドリ
(文目鳥)
ayame-dori
'fine pattern bird'
イモセドリ
(妹背鳥)
imo-se-dori
'man and wife bird' (court women's language)
タソガレドリ
(黄昏鳥)
tasogare-dori
'twilight bird'
タマサカドリ
(偶鳥)
tamasaka-dori
'occasional bird'
ウヅキドリ
(卯月鳥)
uzuki-dori
'fourth month bird'
サナエドリ
(早苗鳥)
sanae-dori
'rice sprouts bird'
カンノウチョウ
(勧農鳥)
kannō-chō
'promote agriculture bird'
タマムカエドリ
(魂迎え鳥)
tama-mukae-dori
'spirit-greeting bird' (refers to a traditional custom of greeting returning spirits during summer)
シデノタオサ
(死出田長)
shi-de no ta-osa
'king of the fields of the road to death'
タオサドリ
(田長鳥)
ta-osa-dori
'king of the fields bird'
トウ
(杜宇)
to-u
'to-u' (from Chinese)
ショッコン
(蜀魂)
shokkon
'spirit of Shu' (ancient kingdom of China)
シキ
(子規)
shiki
'shiki' (from Chinese)
トケン
(杜鵑)
token
'token' (from Chinese)
See Hiraizumi
小杜鹃
(小杜鵑)
xiǎo dù-juān
'small cuckoo'
(小杜鹃)
小杜鵑
xiǎo dù-juān
'small cuckoo'
小郭公
(小郭公)
xiǎo guōgōng
'small guōgōng' (onomat.) (characters mean 'city outer wall' + 'public') (FS)
点灯捉虼蚤
(點燈捉虼蚤)
diǎn-dēng zhuō gèzǎo
'light the lamp catch a flea' (onomat.) (Sichuan dialect) (FS)
두견이
dugyeoni
'dugyeoni' (from Chinese)

中国鸟类种和亚种分类名录大全(修订版) 郑作新 著 科学出版社 北京 2000年
A Complete Checklist of Species and Subspecies of the Chinese Birds (Revised Edition) by Cheng Tso-Hsin, Science Press, Beijing 2000

中国鸟类分类与分布名录 主编:郑光美 科学出版社 北京 2005年
A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of China Chief editor: Zheng Guangmei, Science Press, Beijing 2005

中国鸟类野外手册(中文版)约翰・马敬能、卡伦・菲利普斯,合作者:荷芬奇,翻译:卢和芬 湖南教育出版社 长沙 2000年
A Field Guide to the Birds of China (Chinese translation) by John MacKinnon, Karen Phillipps, in collaboration with He Fen-qi, translated by Lu Hefen, Hunan Jiaoyu Chubanshe (Hunan Educational Press) Changsha 2000

世界鸟类分类与分布名录 主编:郑光美 科学出版社 北京 2002年
A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of the World Chief editor: Zheng Guangmei, Science Press, Beijing 2002

世界鸟类名称(拉丁文、汉文、英文对照)第二版 郑作新等 科学出版社 北京 2002年
Birds of the World (Latin, Chinese and English Names) 2nd ed. by Cheng Tso-Hsin et al, Science Press, Beijing 2002

汉蒙名词术语分类词典(自然科学部分) Mongolian (Cyrillic): Хятад Монгол нэр томъёоны зүйл хуваасан толь (байгалийн шинжлэх ухааны бүлэг) (Chinese-Mongolian classified terminological dictionary, natural sciences part) by 《汉蒙名词术语分类词典》编纂委员会 Mongolian (Cyrillic): "Хятад Монгол нэр томъёоны зүйл хуваасан толь" найруулах комисс (Chinese-Mongolian classified terminological dictionary editorial committee), Inner Mongolian People's Press, Hohhot 1990