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.
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.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Popinjay from Infoplease:
- popinjay: meaning and definitions - popinjay: Definition and Pronunciation
- Popinjay - Popinjay A butterfly man, a fop; so called from the popinjay or figure of a bird shot at for ...
- Lewis Carroll: The Lang Coortin’ - The ladye she stood at her lattice high, Wi’ her doggie at her feet; Thorough the lattice she can spy The passers in the street,
- Dictionary Index - Dictionary Index pooch pood poodle poof pooh Pooh Bah pooh-pooh pooka pool pool hall poolroom ...
- Muscadins of Paris - Muscadins of Paris French dudes or exquisites, who aped the London mashers in the first French ...
24 X 7
||24 x 7 Tutor Availability
||Unlimited Online Tutoring