• synonyms

birds and the bees, the

A euphemism for sex education, especially when taught informally. For example, It's time Father told the children about the birds and the bees. Cole Porter alluded to this expression in his witty song, “Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love,” (1928) when he noted that birds, bees, even educated fleas fall in love. This idiom alludes to sexual behavior in animals to avoid explicit explanation of human behavior. [Second half of 1800s]


The Buzz About Spelling BeesRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.

Nearby words

birding, birdlike, birdlime, birdman, birds, birds and the bees, the, birds of a feather (flock together), birds of a feather flock together, birds, the, birdseed, birdseye
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.