One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A chicken of a small breed, the male of which is noted for its aggression.
tiny, small, little, petite, minute, miniature, mini, minuscule, microscopic, nanoscopic, small-scale, compact, pocket, toy, midget, undersized, short, stubby, elfin, dwarfish, dwarf, pygmy, bantam, homuncular, lilliputianView synonyms
- ‘He's a prize-winning breeder of poultry and waterfowl and started breeding bantams and poultry when he was seven.’
- ‘All species of poultry - large fowl, bantams, waterfowl and turkeys - are kept by thousands of people as pets or simply because they have the space and like to see them around.’
- ‘To his credit, Higgins is an exception, standing up like a bantam fighting cock when he feels inspired.’
- ‘Out back were the Vietnamese pheasants and bantams that Kilroy-Silk breeds.’
- ‘There is an abundance of native birds living alongside badgers, deer and the marauding foxes which cleared out the bantams of a previous tenant.’
- ‘In the poultry tent bantams strutted their stuff as proudly as any cocksure pop star, while there was sheep-like following for anyone careless enough to leave a pen hurdle unclosed.’
- ‘He prowled, then pounced - ballet technique in high gear - like a prize bantam; she shimmied - midriff bare, legs striking out from her flaming outfit - to dish out a hot-pepper attitude.’
- ‘‘I have enjoyed my job, but it will be nice having more time to carry out my hobbies,’ said Eric, a keen gardener and breeder of more than 30 varieties of bantams.’
- ‘As well as individual success for the Ancona, Mr Addison's birds also won a string of prizes at the Staffordshire show in classes for Old English Game bantams, pullets and Weaten hens.’
- ‘The £7.99 book was inspired by the dozen bantams and sole chicken, Val, that she keeps in the back garden.’
- ‘The bantams have been giving me strange looks recently, and a small robin is trying to nest in our bedroom (totally ignored by the cat).’
- ‘I had not tasted a real ‘home-grown’ egg till I befriended a wholesome farming woman, whose Rhode Islands and Sussex bantams run freely around the adjoining fields.’
- ‘Birds affected by this disease are fowls, bantams, turkeys, geese, ducks, pheasants, guinea fowl and other wild and captive birds, including ratites such as ostriches, emus and rhea.’
- ‘‘It's an achievement to win something like this,’ said East Londoner Alan Volker whose Old English Game bantam won the best bantam on show.’
- ‘Farming at ‘Cartron’ in my day had become more of a hobby - free-range hens and bantams clucked and pecked around the open ‘plot’ area, supplying quality eggs daily.’
- ‘And if you know me, I couldn't get ordinary bantams, I had to get pedigree ones.’
- ‘It is a posse of bantams come to check out whether or not that strange smell means that we are about to eat ‘Mother’.’
- ‘A True Bantam is a breed of bantam that does not have a large fowl equivalent and the Rosecomb is an English breed dating back well over a hundred years.’
- ‘I always despised dolls; we were outdoor children and puppies, bantams, guinea-pigs and, of course, ponies, were so much more interesting.’
- ‘When there was no one else to spar with, he and his brother Johnny, who's now 16, would flail at each other like mad bantams.’
2short for bantamweight
3Canadian usually as modifier A level of amateur sport typically involving children aged between 13 and 15.‘bantam hockey’
- ‘The tournament showcases the top bantam hockey players in the province divided into 12 regional teams.’
- ‘Five local bantam age players were selected in the first ever Manitoba Junior Hockey League draft last weekend in Swan River.’
- ‘I played defense on teams in bantam hockey until three years ago.’
- ‘Good luck to the Strathmore Reds AA bantam baseball team, as they gear up for the Provincial Championship this weekend.’
- ‘The coach of the Assiniboine West girls bantam team in the Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association is suspended after mooning a referee, while keeping his underwear on.’
Mid 18th century: apparently named after the province of Bantam in Java, although the chicken is not native there.
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