canary


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Related to canary: Domestic Canary
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canary in a coal mine

Something or someone who, due to sensitivity to his, her, or its surroundings, acts as an indicator and early warning of possible adverse conditions or danger. Refers to the former practice of taking caged canaries into coal mines. The birds would die if methane gas became present and thereby alert miners to the danger. Wildlife in disaster movies assumes the role of the canary in a coal mine, fleeing the scene when catastrophe is imminent. Unaware that he had been given the test drug, John was used as a canary in a coal mine to see its effects on the human mind.
See also: canary, coal, mine

like the cat that got the cream

Obviously smug and/or overly pleased with oneself. After her promotion, Janet spent the rest of the day looking like the cat that got the cream.
See also: cat, cream, like, that

look like the cat that ate the canary

1. To appear smug and/or overly pleased with oneself to others, especially over something one has done, received, or accomplished. After her promotion, Janet spent the rest of the day looking like the cat that ate the canary.
2. To have the appearance of guilt but attempt to hide behind an air of smugness or feigned nonchalance. When questioned on the use of campaign funds for his own personal pleasure, the senator looked like the cat that ate the canary.
See also: ate, canary, cat, like, look, that

look like the cat that swallowed the canary

1. To appear smug and/or overly pleased with oneself to others, especially over something one has done, received, or accomplished. After her promotion, Janet spent the rest of the day looking like the cat that swallowed the canary.
2. To have the appearance of guilt but attempt to hide behind an air of smugness or feigned nonchalance. When questioned on the use of campaign funds for his own personal pleasure, the senator looked like the cat that swallowed the canary.
See also: canary, cat, like, look, swallow, that

miner's canary

Something or someone who, due to sensitivity to his, her, or its surroundings, acts as an indicator and early warning of possible adverse conditions or danger. Refers to the former practice of taking caged canaries into coal mines—the birds would die if methane gas was present, thereby alerting miners to the danger. Wildlife in disaster movies always acts like the miner's canary, fleeing the scene when catastrophe is imminent. John was used as a miner's canary to see the test drug's effects on the human mind.
See also: canary

sing like a canary

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

the cat that ate the canary

Someone who is smugly pleased or self-satisfied. After her promotion, Janet spent the rest of the day looking like the cat that ate the canary. Look at those kids with their ice creams—the cats that ate the canaries!
See also: ate, canary, cat, that

the cat that swallowed the canary

Someone who is smugly pleased or self-satisfied. After her promotion, Janet spent the rest of the day looking like the cat that swallowed the canary. Look at those kids with their ice creams—the cats that swallowed the canaries!
See also: canary, cat, swallow, that

look like the cat that swallowed the canary

Fig. to appear as if one had just had a great success. After the meeting John looked like the cat that swallowed the canary. I knew he must have been a success. Your presentation must have gone well. You look like the cat that swallowed the canary.
See also: canary, cat, like, look, swallow, that

look like the cat that ate the canary

Also, look like the cat that swallowed the canary. Appear smug and self-satisfied. For example, After she hit her third winning shot, Jeannie looked like the cat that ate the canary. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: ate, canary, cat, like, look, that

like the cat that got the cream

BRITISH or

like the cat that ate the canary

AMERICAN
If someone looks like the cat that got the cream, they look satisfied and happy with themselves because they have been successful or done something they are proud of. `Thanks a million,' he repeats, grinning like the cat that got the cream. Jules stands at one end, looking like the cat that ate the canary.
See also: cat, cream, like, that

canary

(kəˈnɛri)
1. n. a female singer. The band had a cute canary who could really sing.
2. n. a capsule of Nembutal, a barbiturate. (Drugs. The capsule is yellow.) There are a couple of blues, which ought to do the same as canaries.
3. n. a police informer who sings to the police. (see also stool (pigeon).) Spike is no canary. He would never squeal on us.

cat that swallowed the canary, (look) like the

Look both smug and guilty. The analogy dates back to the mid-nineteenth century and was used by many writers, especially mystery writers (Dashiel Hammett among them), in the first half of the twentieth century.
See also: cat, like, swallow, that

the cat that ate the canary

Happy, often in a selfsatisfied way. Someone who was very pleased—and often smug—was compared to a house cat that figured out a way to liberate a pet bird from its cage and enjoy the aftermath.
See also: ate, canary, cat, that
References in periodicals archive ?
You can download the Google Chrome Canary build for Windows or Mac OSX from here.
In the end, a visit to this fledgling biennial is an excuse, not a reason, to visit the Canary Islands.
It's likely that the pains being felt throughout the national and global economies will continue to put negative pressure on the automotive industry through the remainder of this year and likely into the first or second quarter or next, at least according to none other than Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke: "Overall, the combination of the incoming data and recent financial developments suggests that the outlook for economic growth has worsened and that the downside risks to growth have increased." That could spell even more bad news for our canary, maybe leaving him scarred for life, but yet still hanging on through the worst of what's to come.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: 'As the UK's largest tour operator to the Canary Islands, we are delighted to have responded quickly to extra demand for flights and holidays to Lanzarote and Tenerife.
One of the great economies of Europe, United Kingdom, strongly continue its commitment to tourism in Spain, this proves that most residents in the United Kingdom, although with a slight decline compared to other years, lead the purchase of housing in the Canary Islands.
Canary Wharf's mushrooming reputation as a desirable neighbourhood is being reflected in the shifting demographics of its inhabitants: around a fifth of sales last year were to under 30s, a significantly higher proportion than in the rest of London.
"Products should be placed within and near finch and canary cages so that customers walking past can quickly and easily be persuaded to purchase," Kactioglu suggested.
In addition to Harley Quinn, Huntress and Black Canary, Birds of Prey will also reportedly feature Cassandra Cain and Renee Montoya.
Prices of canary birds range between Rs4,000 and Rs7,000.
"Kitchen Canary" is a novel about the goodness of others, black, white, Irish and English whose strength prevails to overcome evil and guide Katie and Moira to true redemption.
In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Canary Mission has created a video exposing National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the "primary student organization engaging in anti-Israel activity on North American campuses", according to Canary Mission.
Canary Wharf is proving a magnet for the TMT sector, offering the kind of rental terms flexibility that meets the needs of young companies in the midst of growth.
In the spring of 2015 an anonymous group of people established a website announcing the formation of an organization they called Canary Mission.
A CHAMPION canary breeder accidentally killed all but one of his birds with insecticide.
M2 EQUITYBITES-December 3, 2015-Blackboard Acquires Higher Education Predictive Analytics Specialist Blue Canary