E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
is meant for Dr. Burnett, whose figure was lusty.
The noble Buzzard ever pleased me best.
Dryden: Hind and Panther, part iii. 1121.
Buzzard called hawk by courtesy. It is a euphemisma brevet ranka complimentary title.
Of small renown, tis true; for, not to lie,
We call [your buzzard] hawk by courtesy.
Dryden: Hind and Panther, iii. 11223.
Between hawk and buzzard. Not quite a lady or gentleman, nor quite a servant. Applied to tutors in private houses, bear-leaders, and other grown-up persons who are allowed to come down to dessert, but not to be guests at the dinner-table.