The tiercel is the male of the goshawk. So called
because it is a tierce or third less than the female. This is
true of all birds of prey. The tiercel-gentle was the class of hawk
appropriate to princes. (See Hawk.)
O for a falconer's voice
To lure this tassel-gentle back again
Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, ii 2.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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