For the Birds

Today I will teach you some expressions about birds.

And when your friends ask you where you learned them, you could say "a little bird told me." This expression is used when you don't want to reveal the source of something you have heard.

Megan: "Where did you hear about the scandal?"

Jenny: "A little bird told me."


If something is “for the birds,” it is worthless or not very interesting.

Everything Judith says is for the birds. I wish she would talk about more interesting things.


Someone who “eats like a bird” eats very little.

I'm not surprised that Jane is so skinny. She eats like a bird. Did you know that if you tell a young person about “the birds and the bees” you are explaining about sex, pregnancy and birth?

You should tell Sally about the birds and the bees. She's turning 13 this year. Have you ever observed that “birds of a feather flock together”? In other words, people who are similar become friends or do things together.

I didn't think that Jim and John would become friends. But since birds of a feather flock together it makes sense because they both enjoy fishing.


Here is some good advice: “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” This means you should not risk losing something you have by trying to get more of something you do not have.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. You already have some good investments, don't try to get more money by gambling or investing in risky ventures. An "early bird" is someone who wakes up very early.

Greg is such an early bird! He wakes up at 5am every morning.


And “the early bird catches the worm” means that the first person to take action will benefit the most.

I want to get to the store early, because the early bird catches the worm.


To be "free as a bird" means to not have anything or anyone keeping you in a specific space.

My children are all grown up and out of the house! I am free as a bird!


Some bird expressions are about crows, chickens and ducks.


To "travel as the crow flies" means to go the most direct way.

When I am walking to work, I always travel as the crow flies.


If something is "as scarce as chicken's teeth" it is very difficult to find or even impossible.

On cold and rainy nights taxis are as scarce as chicken's teeth!


"Like water off a duck's back" is used to refer to a potentially hurtful remark or situation that has no apparent effect on the person involved.

"To Brian it was like water off a duck's back, but I'm sure it upset Paul"

Discussion

  • Which expression did you like best?

  • Are you an early bird?

  • Are there any expressions about birds in your language?

  • Do you know anyone that eats like a bird?

  • When you drive to work do you travel as the crow flies or take the long way around?

  • Are hurtful remarks like water off a duck's back to you, or do you take offence easily?

  • Is there anything as scarce as chicken's teeth in your country?

  • At what age did your parents tell you about the birds and the bees?



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