Devil bird

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Devil bird (Zoöl) A small water bird. See Dabchick.
    • Devil bird (Zoöl) one of two or more South African drongo shrikes (Edolius retifer, and Edolius remifer), believed by the natives to be connected with sorcery.
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Usage

In literature:

Had I lived in the Middle Ages I am certain I would have believed that a talking bird must be possessed by the devil.
"The Arrow of Gold" by Joseph Conrad
After this the devil a word could we get out of him but of birds and cages.
"Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete." by Francois Rabelais
His tongue was out, poor devil, and the birds had got at him; I spare you details, he was an ugly sight!
"The Ebb-Tide A Trio And Quartette" by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyde Osbourne
After this the devil a word could we get out of him but of birds and cages.
"Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book V." by Francois Rabelais
Some strange noise, "bird or devil," came from the depths of the wood.
"A Florida Sketch-Book" by Bradford Torrey
A sea-bird, cackling like a devil, spoke, And the fog drew away and hung like lead.
"Old and New Masters" by Robert Lynd
Just then the day began to dawn, and the birds to sing, so the devils hurried away.
"Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12)" by Various
And, besides, there was blood on the bird and around him, or the taint of it, and blood is the devil and all in the wild.
"The Way of the Wild" by F. St. Mars
A fowler sells his soul to the Devil for twelve years of life and plenty of birds.
"Italian Popular Tales" by Thomas Frederick Crane
What the devil have birds to do with those globes and jungles?
"The Seed of the Toc-Toc Birds" by Francis Flagg
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In poetry:

With look, like patient Job's, eschewing evil;
With motions graceful, as a bird's in air;
Thou art, in sober truth, the veriest devil
That e'er clenched fingers in a captive's hair!
"Red Jacket" by Fitz-Greene Halleck
And a health to the fair women, past recall,
That like birds astray through the heart's hall flitted;
To the lean devil Failure last of all,
And the lees in his beard for a fiend outwitted!
"Two Moods Of Failure" by Helen Gray Cone
The glow-worm's glimmer, and the bright,
Sad pulsings of the fire-fly's light,
Are banquet lights to thee.
O less than bird, and worse than beast,
Thou Devil's self, or brat, at least,
Grate not thy teeth at me!
"The Bat" by James Whitcomb Riley
He knew no more the din, the reek, the darkness and the slime,
The strangling poison-cloud that hid the sky;
He heard no more the devil's forge beat out its fateful chime,
And shells like birds of slaughter screaming by.
"Fulfilment" by Cicely Fox Smith

In news:

' Devil birds' moving in at Lake Merced.
The bird was considered so pure and sacred that the devil, who was an expert shapeshifter, could not take on its form.
'Devil birds' moving in at Lake Merced.
Bears everywhere, mountain lions prowling the Merritt Parkway, a first-ever devil bird in Hamden.
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