Television is a magpie, and it will take back to its stuffed nest whatever shiny things it can find.
Instead, he was more of a magpie, listening to what came before and incorporating it into his own inimitable music.
Could that be the wild beasts of which the magpie had warned him?
"Or a magpie," answered she with a capital imitation of Mag's croaky voice.
But I know my man so well, that I scarcely count more on his oath than upon the chattering of a magpie.
Oak-brush was there in plenty, and that is the chosen home of the magpie.
And you may listen to their thoughts without being disturbed by the magpie chatterings of vain and shallow pretenders.
"That is one you for you, and one you for me," answered the magpie.
But since the queen died there it had been closed, boarded up, indeed, the magpie said.
"The Multiphobus," said the magpie; and he spelt it over for her.
the common European bird, known for its chattering, c.1600, earlier simply pie (early 13c.); first element from Mag, nickname for Margaret, long used in proverbial and slang English for qualities associated generally with women, especially in this case "idle chattering" (cf. Magge tales "tall tales, nonsense," early 15c.; also French margot "magpie," from Margot, pet form of Marguerite).
Second element, pie, is the earlier name of the bird, from Old French pie, from Latin pica "magpie," fem. of picus "woodpecker," from PIE root *(s)peik- "woodpecker, magpie" (cf. Umbrian peica "magpie," Sanskrit pikah "Indian cuckoo," Old Norse spætr, German Specht "woodpecker"); possibly from PIE root *pi-, denoting pointedness, of the beak, perhaps, but the magpie also has a long, pointed tail. The birds are proverbial for pilfering and hoarding, can be taught to speak, and have been regarded since the Middle Ages as ill omens.
Whan pyes chatter vpon a house it is a sygne of ryghte euyll tydynges. Divination by number of magpies is attested from c.1780 in Lincolnshire; the rhyme varies from place to place, the only consistency being that one is bad, two are good.