The Birds Glossary

The Birds Glossary

ornithologist

Someone who studies everything related to birds from their chirping sounds to the patterns of migration to physical differences between species.

aloof

Standoffish, reserved and emotionally distanced from others, especially strangers.

molting

Shedding skin, hair, feathers or any outer layer.

hangdog

A physical expression of guilt and shame.

gilded

Literally meaning covered with a thin layer of gold, but also a metaphor to describe any location that affords isolation for the privileged from the less well-to-do.

compulsive

Obsessive to a neurotic degree; committed to habitual engagement of ritual.

arrogant

An exaggerated estimation of one’s worth self-worth; conceited; egotistic.

utilitarian

Practical, useful and without any sense of luxury; down to earth functionality.

famished

A state of intense hunger.

caveat emptor

Latin phrase meaning “let the buyer beware.”

propriety

A demonstration of awareness of decorum and polite behavior according to specific situations.

possessive

A feeling of selfish entitlement to ownership or authority.

tipsy

A condition of be slightly drunk on the way to becoming fully intoxicated; usually conveying a sense of playfulness stimulated by the effects of alcohol.

semantics

The study of how language is used to convey meaning.

prim

Old-fashioned, uptight and straight-laced.

peculiar

Out of the ordinary; very strange and unusual.

malcontent

Complaining and unhappy, disgruntled; restless and ready to rebel.

hysterical

An agitated reaction to finding oneself in a panic-stricken situation.

scavenger

Something that forages for their food.

claustrophobic

A situation taking place within an enclosed location with seemingly limited opportunity for escape which increases anxiety and fear.

allocate

To distribute, the process of sharing among recipients; allotting proportions.

ambiguous

An indefinite meaning that is equally open to a number of logical interpretations.

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