Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Feather.

 Feasts.Feather in Your Cap. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Feather.
 
Meaning species or kind. From the proverb, “Birds of a feather”—i.e. of the same plumage, and therefore of the same sort.   1
       
“I am not of that feather to shake off
My friend, when he must need me.”
       
Shakespeare: Timon of Athens. i. 1.
   Feather. A light, volatile person.   2
       
“A wit’s a feather, and a chief a rod;
An honest man’s the noblest work of God.”
       
Pope: Essay on Man, 247–8.
   A broken feather. (See BROKEN . .)   3
   An oiled feather. Kindness of manner and speech. An oiled feather will do more to ease a stubborn lock than great force. (See Power’s Tract called The Oiled Feather.)   4
   Birds of a feather flock together.   5
   Latin: Similes similibus gaudent. Pares cum paribus facile congregantur. Cicero says, “Deos novimus ornatu et vestitu.”   6
   French: Qui se ressemble, s’assemble.   7
   In full feather. Flush of money. In allusion to birds not on the moult.   8
   In grand feather. Dressed to the nines.   9
   In high feather. In exuberant spirits, joyous. When birds are moulting they mope about, but as soon as they regain their feathers their spirits revive.   10
   Tickled with a feather. Easily moved to laughter. “Pleased with a feather, tickled with a straw,” is more usual; Rire de la moindre bagatelle.   11
   Also annoyed by trifles, worried by little annoyances.   12
       
“From day to day some silly things
Upset you altogether;
There’s nought so soon convulsion brings
As tickling with a feather.
‘Gainst minor evils let him pray
Who Fortune’s favour curries;
For one that big misfortunes slay,
Ten die of little worries.”
       
Sims: Ballads of Babylon (Little Worries).
   Cut a feather. A ship going fast is said to cut a feather, in allusion to the ripple which she throws off from her bows. Metaphorically, “to cut a dash.”   13
        “Jack could never cut a feather.”—Sir W. Scott: The Pirate, xxxiv.
   To show a white feather. (See WHITE … .)   14
 


 Feasts.Feather in Your Cap. 

 
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