EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

After Middle French oiseau de passage.

NounEdit

bird of passage (plural birds of passage)

  1. A migratory bird, especially a passage migrant.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard:
      And now the ladies, with their gay plumage, have flown away like foreign birds of passage, and the jolly old priests of Bacchus, in the parlour, make their libations of claret; and the young fellows, after a while, seeing a gathering of painted fans, and rustling hoops, and fluttering laces, upon the lawn []
  2. (figuratively) Someone passing through; an itinerant.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit