[Ads-l] antedating "birdbrain"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 27 19:05:19 UTC 2020

Peter Reitan wrote:
> "Bird-brained" from as early as 1905.
> Several examples in the 1910s on HathiTrust.
> 1905 on Newspapers.com.
> "The "piece" writers of a moribund Publication that has a mill stone around its neck, bird-brained individuals who think ownership of a share of stock qualifies and authorizes its owner to write "keerds" to boost himself or his friends, or to "get even" with somebody are getting busy and like the cuttle-fish are endeavoring, to becloud the situation as to local politics and to set up a gigantic straw man and wallop him unmercifully."
> News-Journal, Mansfield, Ohio,
> 24 Jun 1905, Page 4
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/61946900/news-journal/

Excellent work, Peter. The OED has a separate section for:
bird-brained adj. having a small brain; figurative inattentive,
flighty (cf. bird-witted adj.).

The first OED citation for "bird brained" is 1922 which you have
greatly improved upon.


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

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