birdlime (n.) viscous sticky stuff prepared from holly bark and used to catch small birds, mid-15c., from BIRD (Cf. bird) (n.1) + LIME (Cf. lime) (n.1). Used as rhyming slang for time (especially time in prison) by 1857.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Birdlime — is a viscid, adhesive substance used in trapping birds. It is spread on a branch or twig, upon which a bird may land and be caught. Its use is illegal in many countries.Historically, the substance has been prepared in various ways, and from… …   Wikipedia

  • Birdlime — Bird lime , n. [Bird + lime viscous substance.] An extremely adhesive viscid substance, usually made of the middle bark of the holly, by boiling, fermenting, and cleansing it. When a twig is smeared with this substance it will hold small birds… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Birdlime — Bird lime , v. t. To smear with birdlime; to catch with birdlime; to insnare. [1913 Webster] When the heart is thus birdlimed, then it cleaves to everything it meets with. Coodwin. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • birdlime — [bʉrd′līm΄] n. 1. a sticky substance spread on twigs to catch birds 2. anything that snares vt. birdlimed, birdliming to spread or catch with birdlime …   English World dictionary

  • birdlime — ► NOUN ▪ a sticky substance spread on to twigs to trap small birds …   English terms dictionary

  • birdlime — /berrd luym /, n., v., birdlimed, birdliming. n. 1. a sticky material prepared from holly, mistletoe, or other plants, and smeared on twigs to catch small birds that light on it. v.t. 2. to smear with birdlime. 3. to catch or capture, as with… …   Universalium

  • birdlime — noun Date: 15th century 1. a sticky substance usually made from the bark of a holly (Ilex aquifolium) that is smeared on twigs to snare small birds 2. something that ensnares • birdlime transitive verb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • birdlime — 1. noun /ˈbɜːdlaɪm/ a) A sticky substance smeared on branches to catch birds. b) (rhyming slang) Time; a jail term. 2. verb /ˈbɜːdlaɪm/ to add birdlime to …   Wiktionary

  • birdlime — bird•lime [[t]ˈbɜrdˌlaɪm[/t]] n. v. limed, lim•ing. 1) a sticky material smeared on twigs to catch small birds that alight 2) to smear or catch with or as if with birdlime • Etymology: 1400–50; late ME brydelyme. See bird, lime …   From formal English to slang

  • birdlime — /ˈbɜdlaɪm/ (say berdluym) noun 1. a sticky material, prepared from holly, mistletoe or other plants and smeared on twigs to catch small birds which light on it. –verb (t) (birdlimed, birdliming) 2. to smear or catch with or as with birdlime …  

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