In Reply to: Birds posted by RRC on November 15, 2009 at 18:23:
: : : : Why are so many sexual euphemisms related to birds? Bird, tit, shag, booby, cock, chough, the list is long.
: : : I wouldn't call those euphemisms; rather the opposite! But the names of other animals are just as commonplace: bitch, foxy, wolf whistle, dogging, and so on. (VSD)
: : And then of course, there are 'the birds and the bees'.
: : A thought does occur to me: many (most?) people will never have seen a wild mammal mating (come to that, outside the farming community, most won't have seen a non-wild mammal mating) but everyone has seen pigeons, sparrows and so on thus engaged. Might this have given rise to a tradition that birds are particularly active in this area?
: : Though I believe the fact that a number of our cruder words for sexual activities and bodily parts are also the names of birds is more coincidence than anything else: for example, I believe 'tit' as in the bird species is not related to 'tit' as in breast.
: : DFG
: I guess your television system doesn't provide Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, ... I have thereby seen even whales mating. And, there are no dogs in your neighborhood.
: I have never seen "pigeons, sparrows, and so on thus engaged" in real life though I have seen the nests and eggs and baby birds. The many squirrels in my area, however, seem to burst forth from the ground fully grown.
Possibly, but I rather suspect that the usages under discussion somewhat pre-date the wonders of television (even terrestrial as opposed to satellite).
If you've never seen pigeons mating you must have spent a lot of time looking the other way. The only time the ones around here stop is to eat.