I scraped the remnants of my banana bread from the bottom of the loaf pan and tossed the crumbs out in the yard for the birds – or ants – or whatever small creature of God might find them tasty.  I consider it a kind of recycling, letting nothing go to waste.  One of my many memories of my mother is that she used to throw the old hard crusts of bread out into the yard for the birds.  And I wondered if, perhaps, that’s where the phrase “for the birds,” meaning “something  of no value”, originated.

On to my computer, looking up idioms.  The first site gave the example: “I think it’s for the birds — it won’t work.”  The suggested etymology was based on the idea that birds eat seed, which is not worth much.

A second site gave the example: “They left during an intermission because it was for the birds” which meant it was “totally uninteresting and meaningless.” Read the rest of this entry »