Small Talk

For the birds!

March 19th, 2014

This weather is for the birds! I say that a lot lately. Unseasonably cold or wet weather for the Islands this year has been less than fun. (Though I'm sure it's good for alleviating drought.)

My Danish husband finally asked me what the origin of the saying is. Apparently, they don't say that in Denmark.

I didn't know, so I searched online and came up with this:

"Before the advent of cars, one could see and smell the emissions of horse-drawn wagons in New York. Since there was no way of controlling these emissions, they - or the undigested oats in them - served to nourish a large population of English sparrows."

If you say something is for the birds, you're politely saying it's horse droppings. Surprised, he said, "It has nothing to do with weather?"

Now I was surprised. "No. It means something is worthless." I then realized, I only use the phrase "for the birds" in conjunction with weather complaints. No wonder he thought it was related.

"I wondered about that, because birds don't like to fly in wet weather, so it was confusing," he laughed.

Next time I'll just complain about the weather by calling it fowl!

Posted in family | 1 Comment »

One Response to “For the birds!”

  1. rayboyjr:

    Hey Diane ... I've often wondered on the origin of that phrase ... I didn't think birds liked bad weather either ...

    ... and you got me with "fowl" ... haha ... I gotta go double check if it's fowl weather or foul weather ...

    ... in any case, I just call it crappy weather ... kinda sorta related to the origin of the "weather is for the birds" phrase ... lol ...

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