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May 10, 2007
This week's theme
Expressions coined after the names of birds

This week's words
stormy petrel
kibitz
clay pigeon
jaywalk
catbird seat

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

jaywalk

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: expressions coined after the names of birds.

jaywalk (JAY-wok) verb intr.

To cross a street in a reckless manner, disregarding traffic rules.

[As with other birds, the name jaybird denotes a naive person or simpleton. Early last century, country folks visiting big cities were often oblivious of any approaching traffic when they were crossing streets. Eventually their nickname, jays, became associated with crossing a street illegally.]

See more usage examples of jaywalk in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

"At stoplights, bicycles queue with a Tetris-like geometry, and the natives never jaywalk."
Stephen Metcalf; In the Tidy City of the World's Most Anxious Man: Soren Kierkegaard's Copenhagen; The New York Times; Apr 1, 2007.

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