Birds Of A Feather Flock Together (Meaning And Correct Use)

Learning English is difficult because there are so many expressions you’ll hear. One of these expressions is “birds of a feather flock together”. Although this can be very confusing, the actual meaning and usage is simpler than you’d think.

“Birds of a feather flock together” refers to people who have similar interests, personalities, or other attributes. However, keep in mind that it’s not always used in a positive connotation. A lot of times, people say the expression to describe a group of two or more people that annoy them, so they’re saying it to express their disapproval.

The rest of this article will cover the meaning of the phrase, and how to use it.

“Birds Of A Feather Flock Together” Meaning

This expression is a proverb rumored to date back to 1545, but it’s unknown if the phrase was spoken back then. In 1545, William Turner released a work referencing the idiom. In this work, the phrase “birds of a feather flock together” is seen in an older form.

Since it’s an older text, the writing is difficult to understand. However, the original line is as follows: “Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye always together”. It means the same thing as the modern day version of the proverb.

In real life, you’ll see birds flying together in a flock. If you walk outside, look up and notice the birds flying together. The birds are similar and travel in groups, so that’s why the proverb is used to describe people who are similar in character going together.

How To Use “Birds Of A Feather Flock Together”

Since the phrase is used to describe similar people going together, that’s how you use it in conversation. You can use it in either a positive or negative way, and it all depends on the context of the situation. Here are two examples of a positive and negative connotation:

“Olivia and Jennifer, two best friends who are my co-workers, only like each other and not me. I guess birds of a feather flock together.”

“Jason and Mark have always had trouble making friends, but they have similar interests. It’s good they found each other since birds of a feather flock together.”

The first sentence is negative while the second is positive, both describing situations where people are similar and naturally ‘flock’ together.