Fledge (was: Active wedge tail eagles nest?)

To: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Subject: Fledge (was: Active wedge tail eagles nest?)
From: John Brannan <>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 20:33:08 +1000
Geoffrey Dabb wrote:

I don’t think Philip’s comment has quite got to the heart of the confusion.  There are two separate meanings attributed to the verb ‘fledge’ :  (a) traditional:  to acquire flight feathers (b) recent  ‘scientific’:  to fly from the nest.  So far as I am aware, the noun ‘fledgling’ is used only in relation to sense (a) ie applying to a bird that has acquired flight feathers but not yet left the nest.  The best word for a bird that has left the nest is perhaps ‘juvenile’.  Were it otherwise there would be no end point to ‘fledgling’, which would become hopelessly confusing.

Personally, I prefer C.S. Lewis's interpretation of 'fledge', which he defines as the point at which the horse grows its wings...

John Brannan (sorry)
36 Challinor Cres., Florey, Canberra ACT 2615, Australia
Ph.: (+612) 6258 6038	Fax: (+612) 6258 6238
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