canary


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Related to canary: Domestic Canary

canary in a coal mine

Something or someone who, due to sensitivity to his, her, or its surroundings, acts as an indicator and early warning of possible adverse conditions or danger. Refers to the former practice of taking caged canaries into coal mines. The birds would die if methane gas became present and thereby alert miners to the danger. Wildlife in disaster movies assumes the role of the canary in a coal mine, fleeing the scene when catastrophe is imminent. Unaware that he had been given the test drug, John was used as a canary in a coal mine to see its effects on the human mind.
See also: canary, coal, mine

look like the cat that ate the canary

1. To appear smug and/or overly pleased with oneself to others, especially over something one has done, received, or accomplished. After her promotion, Janet spent the rest of the day looking like the cat that ate the canary.
2. To have the appearance of guilt but attempt to hide behind an air of smugness or feigned nonchalance. When questioned on the use of campaign funds for his own personal pleasure, the senator looked like the cat that ate the canary.
See also: ate, canary, cat, like, look, that

miner's canary

Something or someone who, due to sensitivity to his, her, or its surroundings, acts as an indicator and early warning of possible adverse conditions or danger. Refers to the former practice of taking caged canaries into coal mines—the birds would die if methane gas was present, thereby alerting miners to the danger. Wildlife in disaster movies always acts like the miner's canary, fleeing the scene when catastrophe is imminent. John was used as a miner's canary to see the test drug's effects on the human mind.
See also: canary

sing like a canary

To inform against someone to the police or other authority about their criminal or illicit behavior. I heard Joey Malone has been singing like a canary in the hopes of getting his sentence reduced. Let's make sure he's sleeping with the fishes before he gets the chance!
See also: canary, like, sing

like the cat that got the cream

Obviously smug and/or overly pleased with oneself. After her promotion, Janet spent the rest of the day looking like the cat that got the cream.
See also: cat, cream, like, that

look like the cat that swallowed the canary

Fig. to appear as if one had just had a great success. After the meeting John looked like the cat that swallowed the canary. I knew he must have been a success. Your presentation must have gone well. You look like the cat that swallowed the canary.
See also: canary, cat, like, look, swallow, that

look like the cat that ate the canary

Also, look like the cat that swallowed the canary. Appear smug and self-satisfied. For example, After she hit her third winning shot, Jeannie looked like the cat that ate the canary. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: ate, canary, cat, like, look, that

like the cat that got the cream

BRITISH or

like the cat that ate the canary

AMERICAN
If someone looks like the cat that got the cream, they look satisfied and happy with themselves because they have been successful or done something they are proud of. `Thanks a million,' he repeats, grinning like the cat that got the cream. Jules stands at one end, looking like the cat that ate the canary.
See also: cat, cream, like, that

canary

(kəˈnɛri)
1. n. a female singer. The band had a cute canary who could really sing.
2. n. a capsule of Nembutal, a barbiturate. (Drugs. The capsule is yellow.) There are a couple of blues, which ought to do the same as canaries.
3. n. a police informer who sings to the police. (see also stool (pigeon).) Spike is no canary. He would never squeal on us.

the cat that ate the canary

Happy, often in a selfsatisfied way. Someone who was very pleased—and often smug—was compared to a house cat that figured out a way to liberate a pet bird from its cage and enjoy the aftermath.
See also: ate, canary, cat, that
References in periodicals archive ?
London -- A Qatari-led consortium looked set to win its long-running battle to buy Songbird Estates on Wednesday after the owner of London's Canary Wharf business district dropped its opposition to the $4 billion offer.
The Dead Canary launch weekend starts on Saturday, December 5, and the bar is open to the public from December 10.
Also on stage at the press conference were Cristobal de la Rosa, Deputy Minister for Tourism in the Canary Islands Government; Carlos Alonso, President of the Tenerife Island Government; Anselmo Pestana, President of La Palma Island Government; Manuel Cendagorta, General Manager of ITER; and Ivan Lozano, CEO of ATOS Iberia, the latter two being co-sponsors of the festival.
Sir George Lacobescu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canary Wharf Group, said: "We are delighted to have received approval from Tower Hamlets Council to proceed with the latest building in Canary Wharf Group's extensive pipeline and exciting residential offering.
US fund Franklin Mutual Advisers, which owns around 7pc of Canary Wharf Group, has written to Songbird to indicate it plans to accept any cash offer for its Canary Wharf Group shares, they added.
About HECANSA: An initiative of the Government of the Canary Islands, HECANSA takes training programs to contribute strengthening the competitiveness of the tourism sector in the Canary Islands.
RELATED: 'Arrow' Season 2, Episode 23 Spoilers: Red Arrow, Suicide Squad, Black Canary, League of Assassins in Team Arrow vs Deathstroke; Plus Olicity Moments (http://au.
Targeted for deployment by the end of this summer, O2's Wi-Fi service using Ruckus-patented Smart Wi-Fi products and technology will meet the needs of some of the world's leading professional services, financial, technology, media and telecoms firms located in Canary Wharf.
Boye also noted that canary seeds have more protein than other common cereals, are rich in other nutrients and are suitable for making flour that can be used in bread, cookies, cakes and other products.
Meanwhile, in the present day, a banker called Bob Drake hosts an investors' day at Canary Wharf where wine experts extol the virtues of a supposedly fine Canaries wine.
A dead canary would soon see miners hot-footing it back to safer ground.
Travel Business Review-July 24, 2012--Ryanair Announces Fewer Flights from Canary Island(C)2012] ENPublishing - http://www.
Qatar Holding has bought the London headquarters of Credit Suisse at One Cabot Square in Canary Wharf, London.
The event is the eighth Open and the sixth International Fife Open Show, run by the North Wales Fife Fancy Canary Club.