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In this article, the author analyzes the terms for ‘woodpecker’ in the dialects of the Slavic languages, using the materials of the General Slavic Linguistic Atlas (OLA). The analysis contains two parts: the fi rst refers to the geographical distribution of the terms for ‘woodpecker’ in the Slavic-speaking area according to the stations covered by the OLA – about 850 settlements in the Slavic-speaking territory; the second part includes etymological and semantic analysis of the individual terms. From the analysis, it can be concluded that there is a great lexical diversity of these terms in the dialects of the Slavic languages, although the term dětьlъ is dominant in the Slavic-speaking area. Lexical diversity largely depended on the surrounding. Other factors, such as the contacts with other linguistic populations, infl uenced too. Recognizing the origin of the individual terms, we can establish that the forms are most often processed by onomatopoeia. But apart from the audacious perception, the motives for naming the woodpecker arose from the visual perception – the color of the feather, as well as the abilities characteristic of this kind of bird.
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