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A small brown bird with a red breast, which legendarily was coloured by the blood of Christ. The robin is traditionally taken as a harbinger of death; there was also a tradition that robins would cover the bodies of the unburied dead with leaves. The name comes (in late Middle English, as robin redbreast) from Old French, pet form of the given name Robert.

the robin and the wren are God's cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God's mate and marrow proverbial saying, late 18th century (marrow in the second line means ‘companion’); there was a traditional belief that the robin and the wren were sacred birds, and that to harm them in any way would be unlucky.

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