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.”

On to a third site which said “if you think something is for the birds, you think it is stupid and has no use. Gambling, games of chance – that sort of thing is strictly for the birds.”

Finally, WikiAnswers came up with this origin for the phrase: “When bread becomes stale, and no longer fit for humans…we sometimes throw it on the ground……for the birds to eat. Something that is no longer good thus becomes ‘for the birds’.”

At last!  Validated!  Someone got it right!

Why is it that we form an opinion and then cast about until we find people who agree with us and then call them right?

Could it be we’re all bird brains?

On the other hand, if we have done reasonable research and come up with an answer that rings true to us, doesn’t it make sense to go with it, at least until something that rings truer comes along?

I am the way, the truth, and the life.   John 14:6