Etymology of Flamingo and Flamboyant

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The word flamingo and flamboyant share the same root. Both came from “flame”. Flamingo is flame-like bird. Flamboyant is flame-like look, behavior.

One Piece Donquixote Doflamingo action figure
The bad guys from Japanese comics series One Piece. [see 海賊王 〈One Piece〉 Action Figures]

see that flamboyant guy in flamingo feathers? His name is Donquixote Doflamingo.

[etymology of flamingo]

long-legged, long-necked brightly colored pink bird of the tropical Americas, 1560s, from Portuguese flamengo, Spanish flamengo, literally “flame-colored” (compare Greek phoinikopteros “flamingo,” literally “red-feathered”), from Provençal flamenc, from flama “flame” (see flame (n.)) + Germanic suffix -enc “-ing, belonging to.” Perhaps accommodated to words for Fleming (see flamenco).

[etymology of flamboyant]

1832, originally in reference to a 15c.-16c. architectural style with wavy, flame-like curves, from French flamboyant “flaming, wavy,” present participle of flamboyer “to flame,” from Old French flamboiier “to flame, flare, blaze, glow, shine” (12c.), from flambe “a flame, flame of love,” from flamble, variant of flamme, from Latin flammula “little flame” (see flame (n.)). Extended sense of “showy, ornate” is from 1879. Related: Flamboyantly.