Posted by R. Berg on February 06, 2003
In Reply to: As the crow flies posted by Saxon on February 06, 2003
: Can you please help me find the phrase, and where it originated?
Definition from the Oxford Engl. Dict.,
"'As the crow flies', etc.: in a direct line, without any of the detours caused by following the road."
The OED's examples include
1800 SOUTHEY "Lett." . . . About fifteen miles, the crow's road. [the earliest example]
1820 "Sporting Mag." . . . The distance . . . is upwards of twenty-five miles as the crow flies.
1838 DICKENS "O. Twist" . . . We cut over the fields, straight as the crow flies.