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For the birds

Posted by Keith Rennie on December 03, 2004

"For the Birds" - What ideas, folks?

Since when?
How widespread?
Who has the happiest definition?
What imagery does it conjure up?
and do we all mean the same by it?

For me, it connotes utterly useless. Off the top, I take it to be a kitchen phrase: when food is so unfit for consumption that even the dog, the cat and the pig would turn up their noses, you throw it out "for the birds" (probably poultry) who, with their weak sense of smell and taste, eat almost anything.

I did no research. I was rather surprised to find that this rather obvious one is not yet in the Guru phrase book. Google is hopelessly literal. I don't expect it to generate much controversy, but let's run it by in case: Further ideas suppressed till I see what you talented folk come up with.