The Great Bustard:

When I read today about efforts to reintroduce the great bustard on Salisbury Plain, my immediate reaction was, “now there’s a phrase that could be very useful.” “You behaved like a great bustard,” might convey a meaning that one wouldn’t want to make completely transparent. Then I looked at the male courtship dance and saw that the term could get turned into a boast. E.g., “I concluded with a great bustard” might come to signify a deadly rhetorical flourish.

Note: the sound does not enhance the video, IMHO

But on second thought it does seem the bird is going to extremes with an artificial sex surrogate, one very unlikely to satisfy. That and other behaviors returned the phrase to its possibly critical nuance. For example, the males go in for dominance competitions. Ugly and really uninteresting.

In any case, don’t be a great bustard!

4 thoughts on “The Great Bustard:

  1. Is there a Lesser Bustard? I feel like it might be better to set my sights lower, at least at first…

  2. What you might mean if you say to someone “don’t be a great bustard” is “look at you, all puffed up like a great bustard”, i.e.,arrogant and preening.

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