Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various warm-blooded egg-laying feathered vertebrates of the class Aves, having forelimbs modified to form wings.
  • noun Such an animal hunted as game.
  • noun Such an animal, especially a chicken or turkey, used as food.
  • noun Slang A rocket, guided missile, satellite, or airplane.
  • noun Slang A person, especially one who is odd or remarkable.
  • noun Chiefly British Slang A young woman.
  • noun A loud sound expressing disapproval; a raspberry.
  • noun Discharge from employment.
  • noun An obscene gesture of anger, defiance, or derision made by pointing or jabbing the middle finger upward.
  • intransitive verb To observe and identify birds in their natural surroundings.
  • intransitive verb To trap, shoot, or catch birds.
  • idiom (for the birds) Objectionable or worthless.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To catch birds; go bird-shooting or fowling.
  • Hence To look for plunder; thieve.
  • noun A maiden; a girl; a young woman.
  • noun [In this, as in other modern instances, the word is archaic, and is probably associated with bird as a term of endearment.]
  • noun The young of any fowl.
  • noun A feathered vertebrate animal of the class Aves, frequently included with reptiles in a superclass Sauropsida, but distinguished by having warm blood, by being covered with feathers, and by having the fore limbs so modified as to form wings. See Aves.
  • noun Any small feathered game, as a partridge, quail, snipe, or woodcock, as distinguished from water-fowl, etc.
  • noun In astronomy, a southern constellation. See Apus, 1.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Orig., a chicken; the young of a fowl; a young eaglet; a nestling; and hence, a feathered flying animal (see 2).
  • noun (Zoöl.) A warm-blooded, feathered vertebrate provided with wings. See Aves.
  • noun Specifically, among sportsmen, a game bird.
  • noun Fig.: A girl; a maiden.
  • noun the phenix.
  • noun the eagle.
  • noun the peacock.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a wingless insect of the group Mallophaga, of which the genera and species are very numerous and mostly parasitic upon birds. -- Bird mite (Zoöl.), a small mite (genera Dermanyssus, Dermaleichus and allies) parasitic upon birds. The species are numerous.
  • noun a migratory bird.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a very large South American spider (Mygale avicularia). It is said sometimes to capture and kill small birds.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a dipterous insect parasitic upon birds (genus Ornithomyia, and allies), usually winged.
  • intransitive verb To catch or shoot birds.
  • intransitive verb rare Hence: To seek for game or plunder; to thieve.
  • intransitive verb to watch birds, especially in their natural habitats, for enjoyment; to birdwatch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The vulgar hand gesture in which the middle finger is extended.
  • noun A penis.
  • noun A prison sentence.
  • noun A member of the class of animals Aves in the phylum Chordata, characterized by being warm-blooded, having feathers and wings usually capable of flight, and laying eggs.
  • noun UK, US, slang A girl or woman considered sexually attractive, as used by a man.
  • noun slang An airplane.
  • verb To observe or identify wild birds in their natural environment
  • verb To catch or shoot birds.
  • verb figuratively To seek for game or plunder; to thieve.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a cry or noise made to express displeasure or contempt
  • noun informal terms for a (young) woman
  • noun warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates characterized by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English brid, young bird.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Dated in the mid‐18th Century; derived from the expression “to give the big bird”, as in “to hiss someone like a goose”.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Malay burung ("bird / penis").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally Cockney rhyming slang, shortened from bird-lime for "time"

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English bird, brid, bridd ("young bird, chick"), of uncertain origin and relation.

Examples

Comments

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  • Its the word

    December 7, 2006

  • Apparently it's the female equivalent of bloke.

    September 15, 2007

  • I also enjoy when the Brits use this term to refer to a girl.

    September 18, 2007

  • When we were at 6th form we used to refer to our boyfriends as our birds. (from a talkboard — surprised and pleased me)

    March 3, 2009

  • General etymological astonishment on birdo.

    June 18, 2009

  • Hollywood slang for a satellite.

    August 26, 2009