Thursday, October 27, 2011

Richard The Third

Richard The Third wasn't just a play by Shakespeare, he was also an actual bona fide King of England in 1483.

He has also entered into the Cockney rhyming slang lexicon as rhyming slang for a bird

 or a bird (the one on the left!)

It is also used for a turd, but I've happily dispensed with that picture.

The term 'bird' for a lady dates back to mid 19th century when bird was used for all young living creatures and thus a term of endearment for a young lady (filly was similarly used). It continued to be used in the UK throughout the 20th century but around the late 1970's started to be seen as  degrading to women, I'm not sure if it had anything to do with that "tough old bird" Margaret Thatcher being Prime Minister, but who knows?

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