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a little birdie told me

A phrase used when one does not want to reveal the source of the information that one is about to share or has shared. A: "Did you hear that Mark is planning to propose to Sarah soon?" B: "Yes, a little birdie told me." A little birdie told me that George interviewed for that open position in human resources, so maybe we'll be free of him sooner than later. Don't worry, I don't reveal my sources of gossip. So when Carly asked how I knew about her new relationship, I just said that a little birdie told me.
See also: birdie, little, told

sing like a birdie

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 birdie in the hopes of getting his sentence reduced. Let's make sure he's sleeping with the fishes before he gets to trial!
See also: birdie, like, sing

Watch the birdie!

cliché, dated Said by a photographer to his subject, especially a child, in order to capture their attention before a photograph. In the early days of photography, photographers used small toy bird mounted above the camera lens to draw the subject's gaze. Now, as the last step of the process, I'll need to get a picture of you to put on your license. Watch the birdie!
See also: watch
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


and birdie
mod. crazy; strange. She acts a little birdy from time to time.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Although unable to name any of her late Uncle Dirk's movies, Birdy is interested in acting in the future.
RELATIVE Birdy's great uncle, late actor Sir Dirk Bogarde
In a production remarkable for its forthright perfs, Schneider's work stands out for the intense concentration that makes Birdy the still center of the play, even when he literally has nothing to say.
Under Peterson's fluid direction, action flows seamlessly from past to present, from rooftops to hospital cells, pausing from time to time to linger on one of Birdy's fanciful winged flights but never losing the steady beat and measured rhythms of the script's choice language.
Tony Doyle (Brian Quigley) spoke last night of his continuing heartache over Birdy's death.
"He was aptly named Birdy. His most immediate and obvious personal quality was his enormous delicacy.
Birdy's Bakery and Patisserie is a chain of gourmet stores, serving a scrumptious range of daily breads & sandwiches, indulgent pastries & treats and celebration cakes to Mumbai and Delhi for over 20 years.
His hypersensitivity to birds is balanced by the machismo of his close friend, Al (Bryant Richards), who demonstrates techniques for Birdy to use in scoring with his prom date.
A circular, rotating set helps us jump from the past to a mental hospital where Birdy (Wallace Acton), witness to a World War II horror, is now mute, but amusingly bird-like in his movements.
He earned the nickname Birdy as an 11-year-old boy when he made his broadcasting debut mimicking blackbirds on BBC Radio.
Birdy was a celebrity in his home town of Dungannon, Co Tyrone,
Tony Doyle, who plays entrepreneur Quigley in the series, said: "He was aptly named Birdy. He had the delicacy of a bird, in contrast to his screen persona, and was solid, serene and funny."
Birdy - who picked up his nickname for impersonating birds at school - was filming the fifth series of the gentle Irish drama when he died.
is producing "Birdy" in association with Spring Sirkin of Boston.