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waifs and strays

People or animals that are in need of a place to stay. "Waif" commonly refers to a person or animal that has been abandoned. It's heartbreaking to see so many waifs and strays wandering the city streets, with no one to care for them.
See also: and, stray

stray (away) (from something)

to drift away from or wander away from a particular topic or location. (The option elements cannot be transposed.) Please don't stray from the general area of discussion. Sally strayed away from her topic a number of times.

stray in(to something)

to wander into something. The deer strayed into the town and ruined almost everyone's garden. We left the gate open, and the cows strayed in and drank from the pond.
See also: stray

stray onto something

to wander onto an area, such as a parcel of land. Your cows strayed onto my land and ate my marigolds! If your horse strays onto my land one more time, it's my horse!
See also: stray

ˌwaifs and ˈstrays

1 people with no home, especially children in a big city: There are lots of waifs and strays living on the streets here.
2 (humorous) lonely people with nowhere else to go: My wife is always inviting various waifs and strays from work to our house. She seems to attract them.
See also: and, stray
References in periodicals archive ?
A total of 22 stray bullet cases were reported, with one death.
Ms Rehman, aged 32, said if stray dogs were caught and neutered then the phenomenon would be eradicated in the next five years.
Safe Haven will be funded by the Umm Al Quwain Municipality and the Stray Dogs Centre (UAQ).
Animal wardens, who were based at the old animal shelter, will work across the county borough, responding to calls about stray dogs during office hours, as well as promoting responsible dog ownership and supporting residents who may have dog-related concerns, such as barking or dog fouling.
Stray dogs may become dangerous for the public as well as other animals when they become a pack, as they might express aggressive behaviour, she claimed.
The sender shall identify the exact location, like the street and barangay, where the pictures of the stray dogs were taken;
Residents have responded by hunting down the strays.
e cash-strapped council is axing its out-of-hours service from April 1, meaning dog wardens will only be available to collect strays between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday.
Egypt's streets are notorious for their population of stray animals that roam the streets and become intertwined with public life.
When we reached the barn which is close to my farm, we found seven stray dogs biting into the dead animals.
Sources said Jung noticed several stray dogs loitering in and around the premises Lok Nayak Hospital and G.
Mr Ayrapetyan saw a post on Facebook that Russian authorities had plans to shoot stray cats and dogs on the eve of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
This is a drop compared to the previous year, when 575 stray dogs were picked up by dog wardens.
DOHA THE Ministry of Environment (MoE) is working with various complexes to control stray animals, Dr Youssery Radwan, expert and consultant at the Animal Resources Department (ARD), told Qatar Tribune.
A UNIQUE social prescribing initiative has meant that stray dogs who had faced the bleak prospect of being put down are helping people live happier lives.