Monday, September 23, 2019

Ancient Bird Proverbs

Before urbanization and industry people lived intimately with birds, and their language was full of them. Some of the ways birds appear in the proverbs of ancient Greece and Rome still make sense to us:
One swallow doesn’t make a summer
Birds of a feather flock together
A bird in the hand
A cuckoo in the nest
But others have faded from speech:
Go to the crows (rot in hell)
To throw a vulture (an unlucky cast of dice)
Further than a kite roams (a huge distance)
Birds love figs but won’t plant them (no pain, no gain)
Eagles don’t catch flies (don’t bother with trifles)
Owls to Athens (coals to Newcastle)

No comments: