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gallows bird

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noun Informal.
  1. a person who deserves to be hanged.

Origin of gallows bird

First recorded in 1775–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gallows bird

Historical Examples

  • "And you would be a highwayman, would you, gallows-bird—" began the Countess.

    The O'Ruddy

    Stephen Crane

  • But here you are looking like a gallows-bird of the greatest claim for the rope.

    The O'Ruddy

    Stephen Crane

  • Sometimes her mother abused me for it: 'You're a scoundrel, a gallows-bird!'

  • Do you think you can teach an old constable how to know a gallows-bird?

  • I know that far, though I ne'er minced ape nor gallows-bird.


British Dictionary definitions for gallows bird

gallows bird

noun
  1. informal a person considered deserving of hanging
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