One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An exceptional person or thing; a rarity.‘Irish tenors such as he are rare birds’
individualist, individual, eccentric, nonconformist, free spirit, bohemian, maverick, oddityView synonyms
- ‘And there certainly are nice people in sales professions, even those rare birds who will sacrifice their commissions to make sure you get what you truly need or want.’
- ‘Though men far outnumber women at both resorts, we feel welcome, even special, like rare birds.’
Translating Latin rara avis (Juvenal's Satires, vi.165: rara auis in terris nigroque simillima cycno, ‘[a good woman is] a rare bird in this world and very like a black swan’).
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