a rare bird

(redirected from Rare Birds)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

a rare bird

A person or thing that is very unusual, especially due to a combination of typically incompatible features. Their latest model is a rare bird indeed, a spacious hatchback that still feels premium and elegant in its design. The film is a rare bird—funny, crass, and yet more emotionally powerful than anything I've seen all year.
See also: bird, rare

rare bird, a

An exceptional individual, a unique person, as in That wife of yours is a rare bird; you're lucky to have her. This idiom, generally used as a compliment, is a translation of the Latin rara avis, which itself was used from about 1600 on and began to be translated only in the late 1800s.
See also: rare

a rare bird

LITERARY
If you call someone or something a rare bird, you mean that they are very unusual. Diane Johnson's book is that rare bird, an American novel of manners. Note: `A rare bird' is a translation of the Latin expression `rara avis', which was used by the Roman writer Juvenal in the 2nd century AD to describe a black swan. At the time, black swans were unknown, although they were later discovered in Australia.
See also: bird, rare

rare bird

an exceptional person or thing; a rarity.
The English expression is a literal translation of the Latin rara avis .
2005 Apollo Magazine Joseph Southall is that rare bird, an Arts and Crafts painter.
See also: bird, rare

a rare ˈbird

a person or thing that is unusual, often because they have/it has two very different interests or qualities: Jill is a very rare bird, a good politician and an excellent listener.This expression is a translation of the Latin idiom ‘rara avis’.
See also: bird, rare

rare bird

n. an unusual person; a person with rare talents or abilities. An interesting kind of rare bird is the man who can take long vacations and still make money.
See also: bird, rare

rare bird, a

An unusual phenomenon or person. The term is a translation from Juvenal’s Satires (ca. a.d. 120), in which, speaking of chastity, he writes, “Rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno” (A bird as rare upon the earth as a black swan). The term was soon being applied to other rare phenomena, often as sarcastically as Juvenal had used it, as, for example, for “an honest lawyer” (John Wesley, Journal, 1764).
See also: rare