Date: 17 Apr 2002

In a message dated 17/04/02 15:35:43 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

 I really think it's the other way 'round. I can't find my copy of Hugh
 Rawson's DICTIONARY OF EUPHEMISMS, a great and hilarious book, so I can't be
 sure. BTW, there's a line from "Polythyne Pam" (sp?) where John sings,
 "It's a little absurd, but she's a nice lot of bird..." So it was current
 in the late 60s at least.
 ------------- >> I think he sings.

"She's the kind of a bird Who'd make the News of the World So you could say she was attractively built"

News of the World is a tabloid newspaper that was the epitomy of down market, scandal rag journalism - sex etc. Also had pin ups, I think, but couldn't swear to it. I think it's much older than that.

I don't have the Oxford English Dictionary, which would give the full derivation, but, Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, says:

"The word has evolved from the Old English brid.... The word was also used to mean "girl". though it lacked the disparaging overtones that it now sometimes has in this context. It can also be used to refer to any person, especially when used with an adjective. An odd bird is thus a strange person......"

So, the battle fields of Medieval Europe no doubt resounded to doughty English soldiers screaming "shit bird" at their foes!

Cheers all. Colin

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