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( ESL or ESOL , TESOL or even TSL ), these phrases will help you to improve your English and help you to remember them in an enjoyable way .
1. A Bird in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush
It's better to have something of small value rather living in hope for something of higher value but with the risk of getting 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"
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"
3. Bird Brained
Forgetful or unintelligent
"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!"
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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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"
6. A Wise Old Owl
Somebody clever or street-wise
"Barack Obama may not be President of the USA any more, but he's a wise old owl"
A Wise Owl Watching You
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."
8. To Hawk Your Wares
To sell your goods
"She hawked her wares from her online website,Glorious Confusion Antiquarian Books"
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
10. To Crow
To boast triumphantly
"It's considered very rude to crow when you win a game of Scrabble"
And Here's One More For the Road (Another Idiom):
11. To Give (Someone) the Bird
This expression has two pejorative meanings:
(i) In the US if you flip or give someone the bird, you are making an offensive or very rude gesture by raising your middle finger upwards whilst keeping the rest of your fingers and thumb down.
(ii) The British meaning if you "give someone the bird" is to laugh, boo or mock them in disapproval. e,g, "They gave the actor the bird when he messed up his lines".
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A YouTube Video: Einstein The Bird (African Parrots Are The Most Intelligent Parrots In The World)
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
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Diana Grant