swan


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(as) graceful as a swan

Very graceful or agile. That ballerina is as graceful as a swan when she moves across the stage. A: "Oops, did I knock that over?" B: "Yep. You know, you're not exactly graceful as a swan, buddy." You don't have to be graceful as a swan, but if you could stop stomping around in here, that would be great.
See also: graceful, swan

all (one's) geese are swans

proverb One is overexaggerating and not in touch with reality. Geese and swans are quite different, so to think they are the same is a stretch of the truth. I can't listen to another one of Tiffany's stories that casts her as the adored heroine. All her geese are swans if she thinks everyone at work likes her! Wait, he seriously thinks the most popular girl in school would go out with him? Wow, all his geese are swans, all right! Not to be mean, but all George's geese are swans if he really thinks he's getting the promotion. The guy is late to work almost every day!
See also: all, geese, swan

all (one's) swans are geese

proverb One is overexaggerating and not in touch with reality. Geese and swans are quite different, so to think they are the same is a stretch of the truth. I can't listen to another one of Tiffany's stories that casts her as the adored heroine. All her swans are geese if she thinks everyone at work likes her! Wait, he seriously thinks the most popular girl in school would go out with him? Wow, all his swans are geese, all right! Not to be mean, but all George's swans are geese if he really thinks he's getting the promotion. The guy is late to work almost every day!
See also: all, geese, swan

black swan

An event or occurrence previously thought to be impossible. Often used as a modifier before a noun. This crisis is a true black swan, downplayed by the government for years as being so statistically improbable that it was not worth preparing for. The culmination of so many different factors led to a black swan event crippling financial markets around the world.
See also: black, swan

black swan event

An event or occurrence previously thought to be impossible. This crisis is a true black swan event, downplayed by the government for years as being so statistically improbable that it was not worth preparing for. The culmination of so many different factors led to a black swan event crippling financial markets around the world.
See also: black, event, swan

do a swan dive

To suffer a sudden and drastic decline or failure; to plummet, as in value, performance, sales, etc. They were one of the top names in video games in the early 80s, but they went bankrupt after their new home console did a swan dive in 1983. I'll lose my entire fortune if the stock market does another swan dive.
See also: dive, swan

swan dive

1. A type of forward dive in which one keeps one's legs together and stretches one's arms out to the side while in the air. The arms are then brought above the head just before one enters the water. Wow, that was a beautiful swan dive. I suspect she'll get high marks for it.
2. To suffer a sudden and drastic decline or failure; to plummet, as in value, performance, sales, etc. They were one of the top names in video games in the early 80s, but they went bankrupt after their new home console did a swan dive in 1983. I'll lose my entire fortune if the stock market takes another swan dive.
See also: dive, swan

swan song

A final performance, product, or accomplishment before someone or something stops creating work or products, as due to death, retirement, closure, etc. From the ancient belief that swans issue a beautiful song-like sound just before they die. Reaching, and often surpassing, the dizzying heights of her first novel, this is a remarkable swan song for the accomplished author. Their latest album, the swan song of the legendary rock group, is unfortunately not one of their best.
See also: song, swan

take a swan dive

To suffer a sudden and drastic decline or failure; to plummet, as in value, performance, sales, etc. They were one of the top names in video games in the early 80s, but they went bankrupt after their new home console took a swan dive in 1983. I'll lose my entire fortune if the stock market takes another swan dive.
See also: dive, swan, take

turn geese into swans

To embellish or exaggerate the merits, skills, or successes of someone or something. My father was such a genuinely affable and generous man, and he had a knack for turning geese into swans—he made you feel like the most special, talented person in the world just by talking about you.
See also: geese, swan, turn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*graceful as a swan

very graceful. (*Also: as ∼.) The boat glided out onto the lake as graceful as a swan. Jane is graceful as a swan.
See also: graceful, swan

I swan!

Rur. What a surprise! Well, I swan! I didn't expect to see you here! Tom: I hear Charlie just won a thousand dollars! Jane: I swan!

swan song

Fig. the last work or performance of a playwright, musician, actor, etc., before death or retirement. His portrayal of Lear was the actor's swan song. We didn't know that her performance last night was the singer's swan song.
See also: song, swan
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

swan song

A final accomplishment or performance, one's last work. For example, I'm resigning tomorrow; this project was my swan song. This term alludes to the old belief that swans normally are mute but burst into beautiful song moments before they die. Although the idea is much older, the term was first recorded in English only in 1890.
See also: song, swan
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a swan song

A swan song is the last performance or piece of work that someone does in their career. He had made up his mind that this show was going to be his swan song. Note: This expression developed from a belief that a dying swan sings.
See also: song, swan
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

all someone's geese are swans

someone habitually exaggerates the merits of undistinguished people or things.
The goose is proverbially contrasted with the swan as being the clumsier, less elegant, and less distinguished bird; compare with turn geese into swans below.
See also: all, geese, swan

turn geese into swans

exaggerate the merits of people.
See also: geese, swan, turn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

swan song

A farewell appearance or accomplishment; an artist’s last work. This term rests on the ancient belief that swans are mute (most species tend to remain silent in captivity) but burst into song just before they die. The myth has been around since ancient Greek times and was mentioned often by the Elizabethans, especially Shakespeare. Among the most beautiful madrigals of this period is Orlando Gibbons’s “The Silver Swan”: “Who living had no note, When death approach’d unlock’d her silent throat.”
See also: song, swan
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

swan song

Last effort. An ancient belief held that swans, who are usually silent, burst into beautiful song with their dying breaths. As a phrase, “swan song” connotes a last burst of energy before expiring.
See also: song, swan
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
Traditional royal protocol deems that all swans in the country are protected and are the property of the crown, (http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/01/snipers-shoot-12-of-the-queens-swans-with-an-air-rifle-near-windsor-castle-6420855/) according to Metro UK.
? Swan Lake has 11 performances at Birmingham Hippodrome from September 28-October 6.
"Air guns are easy to get hold off and swans are easy targets."
The partnership saw 15 ships, including ones that became the stuff of legend, being built at Swan Hunter on the Tyne for Cunard and last October Sting performed songs from The Last Ship on board Cunard's flagship, Queen Mary 2, in New York.
"The pellets found in the X-ray are incidental to the swan's behavior when it was picked up.
As she affixed her tag to the swan's leg, dozens more whistled overhead.
WARWICK University students are being forced to run the gauntlet of furious swans.
We observed mixed tundra and trumpeter swan flocks while they were feeding to test for interactions that result in displacement of a swan from a feeding "hole." Mixed flocks were observed for 23.5 h across five consecutive days.
The encounter between Leda and the swan illuminates Yeats's theory of artistic creativity, in which spirits impose on the artist's mind an "antithetical image" that demands expression (A Vision 199).
Swans have been known to crash land on roads and green houses during rainy and snowy weather as reflections can lead them to mistake puddles for lakes.
"Sometimes I'll have a duck-hunting client who also has a swan tag.
"At that time, I grabbed my phone and went into the kitchen to see what was out there," Swan told WMBD 31 news as he recounted the details of that fateful night on March 8.
BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-November 8, 2010--CRISIL axes Swan Silk's ratings(C)2010 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.m2.com
EAD has been in Old Swan for 25 years, but it is understood the firm was reluctant to sign a new 10-year lease when the current one ran out.
On Sunday, 14 September, after a week of almost every imaginable weather condition-from light breezes to gusts of over 40 knots and from blazing sunshine to thunder storms and pouring rain-the 100 competing owners and crews were delighted to be able to race in almost perfect conditions on the last day of the Rolex Swan Cup 2008, in Porto Cervo.