phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Strictly for the birds

Posted by ESC on April 15, 2004

In Reply to: Strictly for the birds posted by Dan Harvey on April 15, 2004

: Could I ask; where does 'strictly for the birds' originate? And what does it mean? Does it just mean crumby, like the crumbs one might feed birds?

This says it refers to a birdbrain:

FOR THE BIRDS - "Worthless; overstated; appealing to the simple-minded. Probably the connotation is that only a birdbrain would go for whatever is being dished out. In J.D. Salinger's 'Catcher in the Rye' Holden Caulfield is quoting and then commenting on a blurb issued by his preparatory school, Pencey Prep: 'Since 1888 we have been molding boys into splendid, clear-thinking young men. Strictly for the birds.' From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

To me the phrase means the same as "That's silly" or "That's ridiculous."