While pursuing this puerile pastime -- why do we call such things "puerile", when puella is just as likely as puer to do 'em? -- I came across this passage in an account of a woman's bizarre dreams during pregnancy:
At the same time (ouer and aboue) shee thought that in stead of a boye, (which she desired) she was deliuerd and brought to bed of one of these kistrell birds, called a wind-fucker.
[From "The life and godly education from his childhood of that thrice famous clarke, and worthie Orator and Poet Gabriell Haruey", in Haue vvith you to Saffron-vvalden. Or, Gabriell Harueys hunt is vp]
Now, I'm sure I remember hoiho mentioning a while back that kites (as in, the things on strings that you trail dispiritedly across fields in a desperate attempt to get them to fly) used to be called "wind-fuckers". So I now wonder if he was thinking of the bird (hoiho thinking of birds? surely not!), or if the term was transferred from bird to bundle-of-sticks-and-canvas, or what.
Is it time to go home yet?