Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Deer.

 Dee Mills.Deerslayer. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Deer.
 
Supposed by poets to shed tears. The drops, however, which fall from their eyes are not tears, but an oily secretion from the so-called tear-pits.
       
“A poor sequestered stag … .
       
Did come to languish … . and the big round tears
Coursed one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase.”
   1
       
Shakespeare: As You Like It, ii. 2.
   Small deer. Any small animal; and used metaphorically for any collection of trifles or trifling matters.
       
“But mice and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom’s food for seven long year.”
   2
       
Shakespeare: Lear, iii. 4.
 


 Dee Mills.Deerslayer. 

 
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