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?”, in Toronto Star, page A2:
      One of the most popular targets for criticism has been the credit system, Rutledge said, "because the public has the impression that students are just taking a bunch of bird courses—I wish they'd even tell me what a bird course is."
    • 2002 October 26, Nathalie Younglai, “Conducting without boundaries”, in Guelph Mercury, page C3:
      Clarke stumbled into music by way of a high school course he took to raise his grades. "Music was a bird course. I had more interest in math, science, and women", he divulged.
    • 2006 March 13, Gordon Pitts, “Forward-looking CEOs are looking to the past”, in Globe and Mail, page B12:
      Forty-five years ago, a McGill University commerce student named Seymour Schulich was looking for a bird course to bolster his grades and came upon a prime candidate — business history.


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