Monday, 20 February 2017

Ornithophobia or How I Killed Two Birds with One Stone

A post featuring 11 English birds idioms in context and proving that knowledge is power in many ways.

Phobias. They are real. Mine used to be an overwhelming overpowering overbearing fear of birds. Everything about birds used to freak me out. Claws, beaks, feathers, wings and tails. Twitching tails like wagtails have. Fan tails like peacocks have. Tiny tails like wrens have. Brrrr, goose bumps.

And birds’ eyes? Have you seen anything more freaky? Unblinking and cold. A bird’s eye stares at you from the side of a bird’s head, the creature waiting for the right moment to peck you in your eye if you make a wrong move. Ok, I don't want to ruffle anyone's feathers here (birds lovers, I am really sorry) but seriously, who has eyes at the sides of their head? Just be normal and face the challenge full front and not just stand there like a stencil staring with one silly round eye!

Trafalgar Square, London. Pigeon free zone now. Thank goodness! Used to be full of them! You would snack on a bagel and feel like they were about to tear it right from your hands, stomping on your feet and slapping you with their wings! Absolute nightmare. Oh, wait, it can actually be worse, I don't envy the old guy here ROFL.

Hm, outside is actually where birds belong so I stand corrected, the worst nightmare, if you exclude a chance of being attacked by a mahoosive pigeon while feeding birds, is when a bird is inside. Inside your own house!

Apparently some old and real fireplaces in the UK have real chimneys and by real I mean there is a hole up there! How do I know there is a hole? A little bird told me, huh! By falling right through the chimney onto the carpet in my lounge. Here I am! Claws and all. I nearly had a heart attack!

Don't ask me how the visitor managed to find the door and leave. Cause I don't know! I didn’t shoo it out. I chickened out! Ran for my life and took refuge in the garden. Well, the bird followed so it might have been me after all who showed the way to escape.

Turning point

I can actually tolerate birds now. Not in my house of course and I still feed them from a safe distance without taking my gloves off: swans have long necks, you know, and I can swear they have teeth! But happy as a lark I can say that I no longer have this big fear of birds. What helped? My English study.

I once came across an advert for a company named ‘Kingfisher’. I then thought, what a strange name. A guy who fishes for kings? WTH? Well, turned out that kingfisher is a bird. And a pretty one actually with blue wings and an orange breast. So, I decided to get my ducks in a row. And learn the names of the most common birds in English.

Well, I can say that I have killed two birds with one stone there! Not only have I learnt these words but I have also started, well, sort of liking these creatures. I have to eat crow as they are not that freaky after all. I guess knowledge is power.

Guys, I hope this post was not for the birds and you have learnt a thing or two.

To memorise the names of the common birds in English grab our vocBlock ‘Birds’. It’s translated into French, German, Russian and Spanish as well. Good free flashcards are as scarce as hen’s teeth, so check it out, I’m sure you’ll like it!

Spread your wings with your language learning and good lark luck!

You might also like these posts:

How to Boost your 5-a-Day Nerd Style (fruit and veg idioms)

How to Jazz Up your Everyday Nerd Style (music idioms)

How to Stop Being a Wimp Nerd Style (parts of body idioms)

Birds’ Idioms Defined

goose bumps - when small raised swellings appear on the skin because of cold, fear, or excitement

ruffle (someone's) feathers - to upset someone

a little bird told me - said if you know who gave you the information but do not want to say who it was

chicken out - to decide not to do something because you are too frightened

happy as a lark - very happy, contented

get my ducks in a row - get everything organised

kill two birds with one stone - to achieve two things in a single action

eat crow - to admit that you were wrong

for the birds - worthless

as scarce as hen’s teeth - very rare, non-existent

spread one's wings - to use your abilities to do new and exciting things

*The list of idioms is based on this great resource:

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