bird of passage

bird of passage

noun
1.
a bird that migrates seasonally.
2.
a transient or migratory person.

Origin:
1785–95

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bird of passage
 
n
1.  a bird that migrates seasonally
2.  a transient person or one who roams about

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

bird of passage

A transient, one who is here today and gone tomorrow. For example, Mary moves nearly every year; she's a true bird of passage. This phrase transfers the literal meaning of a migrating bird to human behavior. [Second half of 1700s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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