swan(redirected from swans)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
(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."
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 cast her as the adored heroine. All her geese are swans if she thinks everyone at work likes her!
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.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 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.
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!
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
all someone's geese are swanssomeone 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.
turn geese into swansexaggerate the merits of people.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price