Etymology
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jail-bird (n.)

also jailbird, 1610s, based on an image of a caged bird; from jail (n.), which in its Middle English, French, and Latin ancestry also meant "cage" + bird (n.1).

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bird-bath (n.)

also birdbath, "small basin filled with water, placed in a garden, etc. for wild birds to drink from and bathe in," 1862, from bird (n.1) + bath (n.).

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bird-lime (n.)

viscous sticky stuff prepared from holly bark and used to catch small birds, mid-15c., from bird (n.1) + lime (n.1). Used as rhyming slang for time (especially time in prison) by 1857; hence bird (n.) "jail" (by 1924).

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bird-brain (n.)

also birdbrain, 1936, slang, "stupid person," also perhaps suggestive of flightiness, from bird (n.1) + brain (n.). Bird-brained is attested from 1910 and bird-witted from c. 1600.

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birdman (n.)

slang for "aviator," 1909, from bird (n.1) + man (n.).

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birder (n.)

"bird-watcher," 1945, from bird (n.1) + -er (1). Earlier it meant "bird-catcher" (late 15c.).

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birdie (n.)

"little bird," 1792, from bird (n.1) + -ie. As golf slang for "a hole played one under par," by 1908, perhaps from bird (n.) in American English slang sense of "exceptionally clever or accomplished person or thing" (1839).

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ladybird (n.)

also lady-bird, 1590s, "sweetheart," a term of endearment, from lady + bird (n.2). As the name of a type of beetle, 1670s, the earlier form of ladybug.

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yardbird (n.)

"convict," 1956, from yard (n.1) + bird (n.1), from the notion of prison yards; earlier it meant "basic trainee" (World War II armed forces slang).

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redbird (n.)

also red-bird, mid-13c. (as a surname), a name for "sundry red or partly red birds," including the common European bullfinch and the scarlet tanager (1660s), but in Eastern U.S. especially the cardinal; from red (adj.1) + bird (n.).

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