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#168117 - 05/07/07 01:46 PM Bird-derived words and phrases
Dermman Offline

Registered: 05/07/07
Posts: 1
The mascot of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta is the stormy petrel. How they chose the mascot is quoted from their website:

"Oglethorpe University's mascot is the Stormy Petrel, affectionately called "Petey" by our students. It is said that the stormy petrel is the inspiration for Oglethorpe's motto: Nescit Cedere, translated as "He does not know how to give up."

Why a Stormy Petrel?

A stormy petrel is a seabird, commonly found on the Eastern seaboard, and known for flying low to the ocean to look for food. Dr. Thornwell Jacobs, Oglethorpe University's president from 1915-1943, chose the Stormy Petrel as the school's mascot. According to legend, James Oglethorpe was inspired by the courage of the small, gutsy bird as it dove in and out of the crashing ocean waves as he crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1732."

#168121 - 05/07/07 10:26 PM Re: Bird-derived words and phrases [Re: Dermman]
olly Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 956
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Another Sea bird of note was the Albatross

At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came ;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Albatross was seen as an omen of Good luck to some seafarers.
Woe betide anyone who dares shoot them with a crossbow.

#168122 - 05/08/07 03:12 AM Re: Bird-derived words and phrases [Re: olly]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5295
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague

[From Yiddish kibitsen, from German kiebitzen (to look on at cards),
from Kiebitz (busybody, literally pewit or lapwing, a shorebird with
a bad reputation as a meddler).]

Kibits, from Yiddish kibitzen and German Kiebitz, survived in out daily language as kissebissen, a word often heard when we were growing up and quarrelled about nothing worthwhile and were told not do so.

n 1: small black-headed European gull [syn: laughing gull, blackcap,
pewit gull, Larus ridibundus]
2: large crested Old World plover having wattles and spurs
[syn: lapwing, green plover, peewit]
3: small olive-colored woodland flycatchers of eastern North
America [syn: pewee, peewee, peewit, wood pewee, Contopus
virens]We have a wetlands-bird called kievit.

are medium-sized wading birds belonging to the subfamily Vanellinae of the family Charadriidae, which also includes the plovers and dotterels. A lapwing can be thought of as a larger plover.

The definitions about the bird are not very clear, exept for that they refer to a little shore-side or wading bird. Many are classified under pewit or lapwing.

#168323 - 05/19/07 01:48 PM Re: Bird-derived words and phrases [Re: Dermman]
GAC Offline

Registered: 05/19/07
Posts: 1
The term bird brain is particularly inappropriate. The idea that birds' brains are primitive was based on studies of their structure, which differs substantially from mammalian brains. More recent studies based on function show that bird brains are very efficient and process information in very different ways from ours. It seems clear that evolution wouldn't favor a big brained bird, nor would an inefficient brain permit navigating a woodlot at high speed. You can't survive 250 million years an be dull witted. When an if our species exists as long as the birds have then maybe we can "crow" about our intelligence.

#168328 - 05/19/07 05:43 PM Re: Bird-derived words and phrases [Re: Dermman]
pennyless Offline

Registered: 11/12/06
Posts: 74
Loc: Sandy, Utah
Other interesting terms associated with birds:

quail - to lose courage; become cowed or fearful.

grouse - to complain, typically with sustained grumbling.

hawk - (n) one who preys on his fellow men (as a swindler)
(v) to make an effort to raise phlegm from the throat; to clear the throat noisily.
(v) to advertise or peddle (goods) in the street by shouting.

snipe - to shoot from a hidden position at individuals of an enemy force.

#168329 - 05/19/07 05:46 PM Re: Bird-derived words and phrases [Re: GAC]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5295
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Yes , I fully agree with you on this. We say "chicken brain" and I find that very inapproprite too. For I had three small sized chickens and found them very clever and reasonable.
(I don't know how many millions of years the chickens did, but that does not count in my opinion about them)

#168333 - 05/19/07 06:46 PM Re: Bird-derived words and phrases [Re: BranShea]
themilum Offline

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 1529
Loc: Aladamnbama the most watered s...
I see.

But let me see if I understand...

You said that you found chickens to be "reasonable".

Do you find bugs "reasonable"? How about fish? Are they reasonable? How about themilum? Do you find me reasonable?

I find you sometimes reasonable, so come BranShea, about chickens and bugs and fish, let us reason together, viz. they all have brains the size of a BB.

Edited by themilum (05/19/07 06:50 PM)

#168356 - 05/21/07 02:46 AM Re: Bird-derived words and phrases [Re: themilum]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5295
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Reason. Hmm? Tell me first then, please, what does BB stand for?
Bumble Bee ? Brigitte Bardot?

Oh!!!! I found it! Now you are in for big trouble. Talking about my chickens in association with THIS:

Main Entry: 1BB
Pronunciation: 'bE-(")bE
Function: noun
1 : a shot pellet 0.18 inch in diameter for use in a shotgun cartridge
2 : a shot pellet 0.175 inch in diameter for use in an air gun

I'm afraid I'll have to erase you from your own little list of "reasonable"now. I hate to do this, but
Oh , well they were just chickens. And they had little brains
enough to know that they had a good chicken life and become very old. (there's few chickens who can tell that story)

Edited by BranShea (05/21/07 05:43 AM)

#168389 - 05/22/07 04:14 PM Re: Bird-derived words and phrases [Re: BranShea]
Aramis Offline

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 456
Loc: SE US
Well, nothing to add really, other than an uncanny urge to make a cameo in this thread [?].

Edited by Aramis (05/23/07 01:31 PM)

#168391 - 05/22/07 05:01 PM Re: Bird-derived words and phrases [Re: Aramis]
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Originally Posted By: Aramis
Well, nothing to add really, other than an uncanny need to make a cameo in this thread [?].

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