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Popʹinjay

.

A butterfly man, a fop; so called from the popinjay or figure of a bird shot at for practice. The jay was decked with parti-coloured feathers so as to resemble a parrot, and, being suspended on a pole, served as a target. He whose ball or arrow brought down the bird by cutting the string by which it was hung, received the proud title of “Captain Popinjay,” or “Captain of the Popinjay,” for the rest of the day, and was escorted home in triumph. (See Old Mortality, ch. ii.)

“I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,

To be so pestered with a popinjay,

Answered neglectingly I know not what,

He should or he should not.”


Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., i. 3.

The Festival of the Popinjay. The first Sunday in May. (See above.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Poorer than Irus (“Iro pauperior”)
Pop the Question (To)
Pope
Pope
Pope
Pope
Pope Joan
Pope’s Sermon (A)
Pope’s Tiara (The)
Popefigland
Popinjay
Popish Plot
Poplar (The)
Porcelain
Porch (The)
Porcupine
Porcus
Porcus Literarum
Pork! Pork!
Pork, Pig
Porphyrion