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bring owls to Athens
To do or undertake something redundant, pointless, or futile. It refers to the city of Athens in the time of Ancient Greece, where silver coins were minted with the image of an owl (which were abundant in the city). Thus, to bring either owls or silver to Athens would be a useless venture. The councilor's plans to improve the economy by increasing taxes simply would be bringing owls to Athens.
like an owl in an ivy bush
With a vacant stare, often due to drunkenness. Ivy bushes were thought to be enjoyed by both owls and Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. Whenever Rob drinks, he eventually looks like an owl in an ivy bush, gazing off into the distance at nothing.
A person who prefers to be awake late at night. In my younger days, I was quite a night owl and would often stay up until sunrise.
I wasn't brought up in the woods to be scared by owls.
Rur. I am not foolish or easily frightened. His threats don't scare me. I wasn't brought up in the woods to be scared by owls. Mary: You'll be sorry you ever crossed me. Jane: I wasn't brought up in the woods to be scared by owls.
Fig. someone who stays up at night; someone who works at night. My roommate is a night owl and usually reads until 5:00 A.M. A few night owls stayed at the café all night long.
*wise as Solomonand *wise as an owl
very wise. (*Also: as ~.) If you are in trouble, get Chris to advise you. He's as wise as Solomon. This is a difficult problem. You'd need to be as wise as an owl to be able to solve it.
See also: wise
a night owl
someone who often goes to bed late because they prefer to do things at night A night owl from his youth, he is rarely in bed before 4 o'clock.
A person who habitually stays up late and is active at night, as in You can call her after midnight, for she's a night owl. This colloquial term, originally used in the late 1500s for an owl that is active at night, was transferred to nocturnal human beings in the mid-1800s.
n. a nighttime session of owl watching. (Bird watchers humor.) We went on an owl-prowl last night and spotted a spotted owl. It was a barn owl, but we spotted it.