A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch folk art motif of a bird or birds symbolizing good luck and happiness.
[From German, goldfinch, from Middle High German distelvinke, from Old High German distilvinko : distil, thistle; see steig- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + vinko, finch.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.