General English


  • verb to remove the feathers from a bird’s carcass. This is usually done by machine, but still also done by hand.
  • verb to remove the internal organs from an animal carcass after slaughter
  • verb to remove the leaves from a plant such as the tea plant


  • The liver, lungs and heart of an animal


  • verb to take the feathers off a bird, before it is cooked

Origin & History of “pluck”

Pluck is a widespread Germanic word (Flemish has plokken, Swedish plocka, and Danish plukke, and German and Dutch the closely related pflücken and plukken), but it is ultimately of Latin origin. Prehistoric Germanic *plukkōn was acquired from a vulgar Latin *piluccāre (source also of Old French peluchier ‘pluck’ – from which English gets plush (16th c.) – and Italian piluccare ‘pluck’), a derivative of Latin pīlus ‘hair’ (source of English depilatory, pile ‘nap’, etc). The use of the noun pluck for ‘courage’ originated in the 18th century from an earlier literal application to the ‘heart (and other internal organs) of a slaughtered animal’, which in turn was based on the notion of their being ‘plucked’ or removed from the carcase.