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Word of the Day
Friday, January 23, 2015

Definitions for railbird

  1. any kibitzer or self-styled critic or expert.
  2. a horse-racing fan who watches races or workouts from the railing along the track.

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Citations for railbird
Vaes had so many fourths that, when parading a mount assigned to the Number Four gate, some railbird was sure to shout across the rail, "You got your own number today, Hector!" Nelson Algren, The Last Carousel, 1973
"What's she saying?" Tommy asked, leaning forward in his loafers like a railbird at the Aqueduct finish line Stephen J. Cannell, King Con, 1997
Origin of railbird
1890-1895
Railbird is an Americanism from the late 1800s based on the sense of bird as a "frequenter" as in the coinage jailbird. This sense of rail referred to the fences around a racetrack.