Lovebirds – Saying—Its Meaning & Origin

Meaning:

Lovebirds is a term that means two people have love each other.

Example: Do you see those people sitting over by that big tree? Those two look like a couple of lovebirds.
Synonyms / Related Phrases:
1. Lovey-dovey
2. Head over heels
Two lovebirds sitting on a branch together.

The Origin Of The Expression “Lovebirds”

What are love-birds? They are small parrots that got their name from the strong affection they show to their partner. For example, they will often sit next to one another for long periods of time. Aw, how adorable!

At some point, the behavior of lovebirds became a metaphor for a pair of people who have affection for each other. When did this comparison start to be made? It’s hard to say. There is an example of this expression in print from the late 19th century. For instance, in the Burlington Hawk Eye newspaper, 1897:

“The two Norwegians sat on a chest side by side, alike and placid, resembling a pair of love-birds in a perch.”

However, an even earlier quote of this term is seen in a novel called Bleak House by Charles Dickens, 1852:

​”Mr. Guppy, going to the window tumbles into a pair of love-birds, to whom he says in his confusion, ‘I beg your pardon, I am sure.’ “

It’s not clear if the phrase is being used as a metaphor in this quote. Mr. Guppy might have bumped into a pair of parrots, or a pair of people.


Example Sentences

  • Martha and Phillip always hold hands when they go for a walk in the park. Those two are lovebirds, for sure.

Tip: If you are done reading about this expression, there are tons more on here to see. To find them, access the menu at the top of the page and choose a letter. You’ll be taken to a list of common expressions.

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