bird course

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(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “Why "bird"?”)


bird course (plural bird courses)

  1. (Canada) In an educational institution, a course which is regarded as particularly easy.
    • 1975 August 30, Elaine Carey, "Back to School: What's happening in the classes?" Toronto Star, p. A2:
      The public has the impression that students are just taking a bunch of bird courses.
    • 2006 March 13, Gordon Pitts, "Forward-looking CEOs are looking to the past," Globe and Mail, p. B12:
      A McGill University commerce student named Seymour Schulich was looking for a bird course to bolster his grades.
    • 2006 Sept. 1, Julia McKinnell, "Here's the way to get straight A's," (retrieved 21 Dec 2012):
      In chapter three of Professors' Guide, the authors discuss the well-known strategy of students "larding up" their schedules with "Mickey Mouse" courses, which Taylor notes was unheard of in his day. "I don't even remember the word ‘bird course’ being around," he says.


  • The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Katherine Barber, Oxford University Press, 2004.