Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bird Idioms

Birds appear in a variety of idiomatic expressions, including:
"A little bird told me" (a nameless person told me)
"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" (one thing that you do possess is worth more than two that you do not)
"Bird-brained" (small-brained = stupid)

Then there are idioms related to specific types of birds:
"Duck or grouse" (lower your head or complain as you bang it on a low beam or doorway)
"What's good for the goose is good for the gander" (if it is good for the female it must be equally good for the male)
"You're chicken!" (You are afraid)

Of course there are many more bird related idioms to explore such as:
"The goose that lays the golden egg"
"To feather one's nest"
"The early bird catches the worm"

Remember, the most important things to find out about each idiom are whether it is in common use, whether it is used as a joke or is intended as serious, and ultimately whether it is appropriate for your intended purpose, or not.

Click here to buy the Oxford Idioms Dictionary for Learners of English.


  1. Writing is an art form that reaches a multitude of people from all walks of life, different cultures, and age group. As a writer, it is not about what you want. dictionary of idioms

  2. Thanks very much for your comment. Apologies for this late reply.
    Yes, writing is a form of communication that can find a broad audience from a range of backgrounds. As such, the interpretation by each reader may be quite different and certainly is often different in some way to the intended message of the writer. The use of idioms does not usually make the message clearer, but does offer the opportunity for creative expression. Having said that, the writer should be aware of the dangers of using cliches.