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[doh-doh] /ˈdoʊ doʊ/
noun, plural dodos, dodoes.
any of several clumsy, flightless, extinct birds of the genera Raphus and Pezophaps, related to pigeons but about the size of a turkey, formerly inhabiting the islands of Mauritius, Réunion, and Rodriguez.
Slang. a dull-witted, slow-reacting person.
a person with old-fashioned, conservative, or outmoded ideas.
a thing that is outmoded or obsolete.
Origin of dodo
First recorded in 1620-30, dodo is from the Portuguese word doudo, fool, madman (of uncertain origin); the bird apparently so called from its clumsy appearance
Related forms
dodoism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for dodoism


noun (pl) dodos, dodoes
any flightless bird, esp Raphus cucullatus, of the recently extinct family Raphidae of Mauritius and adjacent islands: order Columbiformes (pigeons, etc). They had a hooked bill, short stout legs, and greyish plumage See also ratite
(informal) an intensely conservative or reactionary person who is unaware of changing fashions, ideas, etc
(as) dead as a dodo, (of a person or thing) irretrievably defunct or out of date
Derived Forms
dodoism, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Portuguese doudo, from doudo stupid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dodoism



1620s, from Portuguese doudo "fool, simpleton," an insult applied by Portuguese sailors to the awkward bird (Didus ineptus) they found on Mauritius island. The last record of a living one is from 1681. Applied in English to stupid persons since 1886.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dodoism



  1. A stupid, inept person; turkey (1880s+)
  2. A boring person; fogy: I'm a respectable old dodo (1880s+)
  3. A student pilot who has not yet made a solo flight (1940s+ Army Air Corps)

Related Terms

dead as a dodo

[fr the extinct dodo bird, rather sluggish and flightless; oddly enough, the word is fr the Portuguese name doudo, ''simpleton, fool,'' given to the bird]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with dodoism


see under dead as a doornail
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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