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  1. #1
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    wisp of birds

    Why do (or did?) people call a flock of birds "a wisp"? Is it because they were so elusive?
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 22-Jul-2010 at 22:47.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: wisp of birds

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Why do (or did?) people call flock of birds "a wisp"? Is it because they were so elusive?
    That's an interesting question! I've found that the collective term "wisp" specifically refers to "snipe", but I'm still trying to find out the etymology.

  3. #3
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    Re: wisp of birds

    I'd like to add, though, that I've never heard this before and you shouldn't use it now, at least not in the U.S.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: wisp of birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I'd like to add, though, that I've never heard this before and you shouldn't use it now, at least not in the U.S.
    I imagine it would be perfectly acceptable amongst birdwatchers, who tend to be quite picky about these things!

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: wisp of birds

    Oh my, yes. That's a good point. Okay, don't use that word with people who don't own binoculars and Wellies that they frequently use together.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: wisp of birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Oh my, yes. That's a good point. Okay, don't use that word with people who don't own binoculars and Wellies that they frequently use together.
    Ha ha!!!

    Slang word for your vocabulary lists - twitcher (bird watcher). I have no idea where it comes from!

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