Is it offensive to refer to someone as a bird?

Is it similar to calling someone a chick in the US?

What's the difference?

  • By "someone", do you mean a female person? You talk of using "chick" in the USA - which country are you asking about as regards "bird"?
    – TrevorD
    Jul 8, 2013 at 15:54
  • 2
    @Trevor, "How offensive?" seems to be an opinion based question, be the case male or female!
    – user19148
    Jul 8, 2013 at 16:27
  • a normal use would be "early birds" Jul 8, 2013 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


Well only a woman can be a bird. Yes it's similar to 'chick' in the US. It's not a particularly offensive word but you wouldn't use it in any sort of polite company or probably when women were present. In fact you probably wouldn't use it at all as it sounds somewhat dated to the 70s and 80s.

  • Just a few days ago, a Liverpudlian truck-driver in a recently-filmed documentary said to camera, "I 'ope me bird 'as me tea on when I get 'ome," which might indicate that it is still in current regional usage.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 8, 2013 at 17:15
  • It is in wide use. I hear it all the time, see my answer.
    – Aaron
    Jul 8, 2013 at 18:37
  • @AndrewLeach Could the truck driver be "dated to the 70s and 80s"?
    – hunter2
    Jul 9, 2013 at 11:41
  • 1
    Interestingly enough, according to Joe Gores, the mystery writer, this was not true in the 1920s. Then men were birds. (You can find this in one of his short stories, but none of them seem to be online.) Jul 9, 2013 at 14:03
  • 1
    Calling a lady a bird was commonplace in the late 1900s. Now it's less so, but the British have a habit of reviving these types of words to use playfully, so people will say stuff like "no problem chap", despite chap being very dated generally. These revivals tend to be localised, in both time and space, as well.
    – Carl Smith
    Jul 10, 2013 at 2:48

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