POPINJAY (O. Fr. papegai, or popingay, onomatopoeic, original), an old name for a parrot. Except in its transferred sense of a dressed-up, vain or conceited, empty-headed person, the word is now only used historically of a representation or image of a parrot swinging from a high pole and used as a mark for archery or shooting matches. This snooting at the popinjay ARCHERY) was formerly a favourite sport. " Popinjay " is still the proper heraldic term for a parrot as a bearing or charge.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)