rare bird, a

An exceptional individual, a unique person, as in That wife of yours is a rare bird; you're lucky to have her. This idiom, generally used as a compliment, is a translation of the Latin rara avis, which itself was used from about 1600 on and began to be translated only in the late 1800s.


Nearby words

  1. rapturously,
  2. raptus,
  3. rar,
  4. rara avis,
  5. rare,
  6. rare book,
  7. rare earth,
  8. rare earths,
  9. rare gas,
  10. rare-earth element

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