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naked as a jaybird

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Bare, unclothed, as in I came straight out of the shower, naked as a jaybird. This simile replaced the 19th-century naked as a robin and is equally unclear, since neither bird is normally stripped of its feathers. Further, the bird it refers to is more often called simply “jay” rather than “jaybird,” yet the latter is always part of the simile. [c. 1940]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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