Ten English Proverbs and Sayings About Birds
English Proverbs and Sayings About Birds
English is a language rich in similes, metaphors, proverbs and sayings
The English are a nation of animal lovers and this includes birds too. We have strong laws to protect wildlife, and anyone caught stealing birds' eggs or killing a protected specie of birds such as the golden eagle, is liable to criminal prosecution.
But, of course, we still like to eat birds such as chickens, geese, turkeys, ducks and pheasant, There is a pheasant shooting season, and shooting these birds out of season would be much frowned upon.
Because bird-life is such a large part of our lives too, it should come as no surprise that birds have entered our idiomatic language in the form of metaphors, proverbs and expressions.
See how many of the following figures of speech about birds you know.
You'll have fun reading this if you are English speaking, and if you are learning English as a second language, these phrases will help you to improve your English and help you to remember them in an enjoyable way .
Proverbs and Sayings - No. 1
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush -
It's better to have something than nothing at all
"I have Fifty Pounds (dollars, dinars, pesos, rupees or what-have-you) and if I bet that England will win the World Tournament, I could win Four Hundred Pounds, but I'm not going to gamble, because a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"
Proverbs and Sayings - No. 2
To chicken out -
To stop doing something because you are afraid
"He was going to tell his employer that he was leaving his job, but chickened out when he realized he would be short of money"
Proverbs and Sayings - No. 3
Bird brained -
"He's so bird brained that he forgot his keys and his wallet - I'm surprised he even remembered to put his trousers on before he went out!"
Proverbs and Sayings - No. 4
A birdie -
A golfing term for a hole in one
"He hit a birdie in his first round, and was so surprised that he thought someone had been tampering with the ball when he wasn't looking"
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Proverbs and Sayings - No. 5
Don't count your chickens before they hatch
- Don't rely on things which haven't happened yet
"By the year 2020 there will be no more wars, arms dealers will be redundant, and everyone will be kind to each other - but don't count your chickens before they hatch"
Proverbs and Sayings - No. 6
A wise old owl -
somebody clever or street-wise
"Bill Clinton may not be President of the USA any more, but he's a wise old owl"
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A Wise Owl Watching You
Proverbs and Sayings - No. 7
Eyes like a Hawk (or Hawk-eyed) -
For Example:"I hid my sweets so that I could keep them all for myself, but she's got eyes like a hawk and noticed that there was a sweet paper in the rubbish bin."
Proverbs and Sayings - No. 8
To hawk your wares -
To sell your goods
"She hawked her wares from her online website, Glorious Confusion Antiquarian Books"
Proverbs and Sayings - No. 9
As the crow flies -
Straight and direct
"Traveling by train, London is not far from Brighton, as the crow flies, but if you are driving there, it will seem much further, because of the complicated route with many deviations"
As the Crow Flies
Proverbs and Sayings - No. 10
To crow -
To boast triumphantly
"It's considered very rude to crow when you win a game of Scrabble"
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Just to Wind up, Here's a Bird Tongue Twister - But be very careful how you say it or it could sound a bit rude!
I am not the pheasant plucker,
I'm the pheasant plucker's mate.
I am only plucking pheasants
'cos the pheasant plucker's late