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bird of passage

A person who remains unfixed to a certain location, relocating from one place to another. The economy has forced me to become a bird of passage, moving around the state to wherever I can find work.
See also: bird, of, passage

rite of passage

An event or activity often performed or experienced as part of passing from one stage of life to another. Bar Mitzvah celebrations are a rite of passage as Jewish boys become men. Getting lost while trying to find their classrooms is kind of a rite of passage for freshmen at this school.
See also: of, passage, rite

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]
See also: bird, of, passage

a bird of passage

If you call someone a bird of passage, you mean that they never stay in one place for long. Most of these emigrants were birds of passage who returned to Spain after a relatively short stay.
See also: bird, of, passage
References in classic literature ?
He had remained behind them in the passage while they were trying to move the rock.
Just as she stopped among the rambling stone passages on the basement story of the house, uncertain which way to turn next, she heard the tuneless old voice in the distance, singing these lines:
When the passage was once more deserted, he crossed it, opened the door of the dressing-room, went in and shut the door.
Yes; a subterranean passage, which I have named the Arabian Tunnel.
Not so the writer of the "Iliad" from which the Odyssean passage is probably taken.
I avoided him during the rest of the passage, by advice of the captain, who seemed to coincide with me altogether in my views of his insanity, but cautioned me to say nothing on this head to any person on board.
In the instant of time in which all this happened Father Brown stepped out into the top of the passage, looked down it, and at once walked briskly towards what he saw.
See, my lords," she said, holding the light before her, "those who stored the treasure here fled in haste, and bethought them to guard against any who should find the secret of the door, but had not the time," and she pointed to large square blocks of stone, which, to the height of two courses (about two feet three), had been placed across the passage with a view to walling it up.
He thought about them through most of the sermon, and that night, on getting into bed, he turned over the pages of the Gospel and found once more the passage.
At the third compartment the vault was so low, the passage so narrow, that the bark would scarcely have passed without touching the side; nevertheless, in moments of despair, wood softens and stone grows flexible beneath the human will.
The chest in the passage was the place of mourning for the younger female generation in the Rostov household.
So it is," remarked the Scarecrow, "and it means a tedious climb over those sharp rocks if we can't use this passage.
For ten minutes they groped slowly along a winding passage, until at length they came to a closed door.
I slept that night, and for many nights, in the connecting passage of the double-cave.
There was a big French bark, the TOULON, becalmed off the atoll, which the islanders boarded after a sharp tussle and wrecked in the Lipau Passage, the captain and a handful of sailors escaping in the longboat.