passage


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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

passage of arms

obsolete A skirmish, conflict, dispute, or fight. Though he may seem like a bit of a milquetoast, there is no better man to have beside you with a sword in a passage of arms. It came to light that the elderly patron of the theatre engaged in a passage of arms with the theatre director about the issue, even going so far as threatening to withdraw her support.
See also: arm, of, passage

work (one's) passage

To do work in exchange for free travel to a specific town or country. After his company went bust in Los Angeles, Martin had to work his passage back to his family's home in Britain.
See also: passage, work

a rough passage

A particularly difficult, trying, or unpleasant experience. Despite the romanticized image we have now, America's early pioneers faced a rough passage of starvation, disease, and murder in their journey west. The markets have had a rough passage over the past week, as threats of a trade war has made investors skittish.
See also: passage, rough

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

a bird of passage

someone who is always moving on.
Literally, a bird of passage is a migrant bird.
See also: bird, of, passage

passage of (or at) arms

a fight or dispute.
See also: arm, of, passage

work your passage

work in return for a free place on a voyage.
See also: passage, work

rite of passage

a ceremony or event marking an important stage in someone's life, especially birth, initiation, marriage, and death.
See also: of, passage, rite

a rough passage

a difficult time or experience.
See also: passage, rough

a ˌbird of ˈpassage

a person who does not stay in a place for very long
See also: bird, of, passage
References in classic literature ?
It ran along the passage like a path of gold, and in the midst of it Aurora Rome lay lustrous in her robes of green and gold, with her dead face turned upwards.
As he did so, old Parkinson tottered in his wavering way out of the door and caught sight of the corpse lying in the passage.
Confronting them, and extending from side to side across the passage and from roof to floor, was a great rough stone.
Late at night, as Magdalen passed the end of the second-floor passage, proceeding alone on her way up to her own room, she stopped and listened.
What we did /not/ see, however, was the look of fearful malevolence that old Gagool favoured us with as she crept, crept like a snake, out of the treasure chamber and down the passage towards the door of solid rock.
Yes; a subterranean passage, which I have named the Arabian Tunnel.
The storm had cleared the air for the rest of the house, and a better state of things now began than there had been since old Brooke had left; but an angry, dark spot of thunder-cloud still hung over the end of the passage where Flashman's study and that of East and Tom lay.
Weston, like a sweettempered woman and a good wife, had examined the passage again, and found the evils of it much less than she had supposed before indeed very trifling; and here ended the difficulties of decision.
The whole passage echoed with its beating and Raoul's ears were deafened.
There were two flights, short, steep, and narrow, running parallel to each other, and leading to two little doors communicating with a low passage which opened on the gallery.
The writer here interrupts an Iliadic passage (to which she returns immediately) for the double purpose of dwelling upon the slaughter of the heifer, and of letting Nestor's wife and daughter enjoy it also.
And then one day, maybe twenty years ago, or twenty-five, there came a schooner right through the passage and into the lagoon.
While we were at Diou, waiting for these vessels, we received advice from Aethiopia that the emperor, unwilling to expose the patriarch to any hazard, thought Dagher, a port in the mouth of the Red Sea, belonging to a prince dependent on the Abyssins, a place of the greatest security to land at, having already written to that prince to give him safe passage through his dominions.
If (to pursue the same vein of improbable conjecture) you were to meet a mild, hard-working little priest, named Father Brown, and were to ask him what he thought was the most singular luck of his life, he would probably reply that upon the whole his best stroke was at the Vernon Hotel, where he had averted a crime and, perhaps, saved a soul, merely by listening to a few footsteps in a passage.
For my experience tells me that even after the above directions have been followed with the greatest possible zeal, the student will still halt in perplexity before certain passages in the book before us, and wonder what they mean.