And a partridge in a pear tree

A pear tree without a partridge in sight

A pear tree without a partridge in sight

This is just a pear tree – no partridge.

The most-repeated line of the traditional cumulative song ‘The twelve days of Christmas’ offers a bird for the table, but why in a pear tree?

The explanation seems to be that the French name for a partridge is added for clarification or whatever reason.

The French for partridge is ‘perdrix’ – pronounced very like ‘pear tree’!

All those Christmas cards, all that ceramic tableware – based on Chinese whispers!