A cuckoo bird (Cuculus canorus) also known in Asturias as cuquiello or cuquiel.lu (pronounced koo-kiey-TSOO).
Cutey-pie or darling, but also wary and cunning as in a mischievous child. A clever person or animal with foxy behavior or someone shrewd enough to get what it wants.
Synonyms at observant, watchful, smart, astute, perspicacious, savvy, adroit, quick, nimble-witted and cagey.
Diminutive forms are cuquín, cuquina and cuquino, also used as terms of endearment with loved ones.
Could be related to the ‘brood parasite’ tactic of the common European cuckoo. The cuckoo gets its name from its call (‘goo-KOO’), usually given on open perches. A grayish bird with a slender body and long tail, it is known for being a clever opportunist. Females observe warblers in their nests and when the mother is away will push out an egg and lay one of their own. The warbler then feeds the cuckoo hatchling as its own. Thus, the meaning of ‘cucu’ or ‘cuca’ in Asturian may be a reference to the bird’s shrewd behavior.
“Escuita, el cucu ta cantando” (Listen, the cuckoo is singing)
“Ya mui cucu.” (He’s very clever)
“Vaya cuca ye la to prima, nun se-y escapa na!” (Your cousin sure is quick-witted, she gets them all on the fly!)
“Que pasou, cuquín, mancástete la pierna?” (What happened, honey, did you hurt your leg?)
« Echanos otru culín de sidra, cuco. » (Pour us another glass of cider, son)
“Ven, cuquina, ven!” (Come hither, cuteypie! [as told to a wary child or animal])
“La vuelta’l cucu” (a somersault)
“El páxaru cuquel.lou pa mi” (The bird sang to me [from the verb ‘cuquel.lar’, pronounced koo-kay-TSAR], referring to birdsong).)