feather, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special senses of general English.
Ostrich-farming
a. As a commodity: an ostrich feather. Also attributive. See also body-feather, chick, onderbaatjie, prime, tail, wing.
Note:
Ostrich-feathers have been valuable articles of trade since the earliest European settlement at the Cape. They form the basis of an industry concentrated around the town of Oudtshoorn, and in parts of the Eastern Cape. See also ostrich.
[1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 130Ostriches, the birds whose feathers our luxury occasions to be brought from the remotest plains of Africa, I likewise saw today in their wild state, at the southernmost promontory of this quarter of the globe.]
1989 Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 227The new industry inevitably attracted great numbers of commercial operators, most of them reasonably honest, but some, especially among the itinerant feather-buyers, decidedly crooked.
b. combinations
feather bird, see quotation ;
feather boom, the period of prosperity following the development of ostrich-farming during the nineteenth century ;
Feather City, the city of Oudtshoorn, in the south-eastern Cape ;
feather market, commerce in ostrich products; a place in which ostrich products are traded ;
feather palace, a name given to any of a number of large houses built in the Oudtshoorn district by ostrich farmers and dealers in ostrich products during the feather boom ;
ostrich palace, see ostrich .
c1881 A. Douglass Ostrich Farming 67From one to four years old, they are called..feather birds.
1993 Sunday Times 24 Jan. 5Ostrich barons exhibited their wealth by building magnificent Victorian mansions which became known as ‘feather palaces’.
an ostrich feather. Also attributive.
, see quotation
, the period of prosperity following the development of ostrich-farming during the nineteenth century
, the city of Oudtshoorn, in the south-eastern Cape
, commerce in ostrich products; a place in which ostrich products are traded
, a name given to any of a number of large houses built in the Oudtshoorn district by ostrich farmers and dealers in ostrich products during the feather boom
ostrich palace, see ostrich

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17861993