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Hum'a

(The). A fabulous Oriental bird which never alights, but is always on the wing. It is said that every head which it overshadows will wear a crown (Richardson). The splendid little bird suspended over the throne of Tippoo Saib at Seringapatam represented this poetical fancy.

In the first chapter of the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table a certain popular lecturer is made to describe himself, in allusion to his many wanderings, to this bird: “Yes, I am like the Huma, the bird that never lights; being always in the cars, as the Huma is always on the wing.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Hum'a from Infoplease:

  • Hum'a - Hum'a (The). A fabulous Oriental bird which never alights, but is always on the wing. It is ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: H - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "H"

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