[Ads-l] Antedating Naked as a Jaybird

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 8 21:22:31 UTC 2016

On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 1:50 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> Is the presupposed allusion here to featherlessness?  Do new-hatched =
> birds or fledgelings lack feathers?

It depends upon the kind of bird. Newly-hatched baby chicks match the
stereotype, being covered with fuzz, commonly yellow. But sparrows are
hatched naked. Fledgelings, OTOH, are older than hatchlings and are
beginning to grow feathers, i.e. they're becoming _fledged_. After they've
become _full(y)-fledged_, they're kicked out of the nest.

That's the extent of my personal experience.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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