A limicoline bird of Europe and Asia (Pavoncella pugnax, syn. Philomachus pugnax) allied to the sandpipers. The males during the breeding season have a large ruff of erectile feathers, variable in their colors, on the neck, and yellowish naked tubercles on the face. They are polygamous, and are noted for their pugnacity in the breeding season. The female is called reeve, or rheeve.
A collar of profuse, stand-offish, rather long and often coarsely textured hair about the neck. . .. The term ruff, or neck ruff, includes the whole neck area, i.e., mane, frill and upper part of apron, in contrast to mane, which consists of hair arising only from the top ridge.
A circular collar in the form of a starched and crimped or pleated frill. From 1562 to 1577, ruffs measured about three inches wide and two inches deep, becoming separate articles of clothing by 1570. The cartwheel ruff was in fashion from 1550 to 1610 and the fan-shaped ruff, made almost entirely of lace, from 1570 to 1625. Men's ruffs were generally higher in back than in front, following the line of the jaw, to frame the face and set off the shape of the skull.
The Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) is a medium-sized wader. It is usually considered the only member of its genus Philomachus, but more recent research (Thomas et al, 2004) indicates that the Broad-billed and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper may belong there too.