A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Ostrich

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1417

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1417

Óstrich. n.s. [autruche, Fr. struthio, Lat.] Ostrich is ranged among birds. It is very large, its wings very short, and the neck about four or five spans. The feathers of its wings are in great esteem, and are used as an ornament for hats, beds, canopies: they are stained of several colours, and made into pretty tufts. They are hunted by way of course, for they never fly; but use their wings to assist them in running more swiftly. The ostrich swallows bits of iron or brass, in the same manner as other birds will swallow small stones or gravel, to assist in digesting or comminuting their food. It lays its eggs upon the ground, hides them under the sand, and the sun hatches them. Calmet.

I'll make thee eat iron like an ostrich, and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou and I part. Shakesp.

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacock? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich. Job xxxix. 13.

The Scots errant fight, and fight to eat,
Their ostrich stomachs make their swords their meat.
Cleav.

Modern ostriches are dwindled to meer larks, in comparison with those of the ancients. Arbuthnot.

Sources: Arbuthnot, John (227) · Calmet, Antoine Augustin (10) · Cleveland, John (10) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2 (49) · The Bible - Job (27)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Ostrich." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: December 30, 2011. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=5964.


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