Out on a limb
This month’s installment is strictly for the birds!
Turkey shoot – Originally, a turkey shoot was a contest in which muzzle loaded guns were used to shoot turkeys. In regards to the turkey, we’re not talking road runner here. Turkeys are very easy to shoot. They are large and move slowly. So, a turkey shoot refers to something easily accomplished.
Albatross around your neck – From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”. An albatross, a symbol of good luck, landed on the ship and was killed by the captain. This happened while the ship was becalmed (no wind), which was thought to be the reason for the becalming. The captain was forced to wear the albatross as a reminder of the wrong he had done and the phrase remains today when describing someone who carries the weight of a mistake.
Eating crow – Although many fanciful images are conjured up by the phrase, in reality, “crow” is a word that refers to the intestines of an animal, especially when used for food. The British English equivalent is eating “humble (or umble) pie”. Thus to eat crow is to be humbled (which probably still feels better than chowing down on uncooked animal intestines).
How about that? Feel smarter already, don’t you? No one will call you a bird brain after today! See you next month for some more illuminating illustrations!