Overview

peacock


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A male peafowl, which has brilliant blue and green plumage and very long tail feathers that have eye-like markings and can be erected and expanded in display like a fan; in Greek mythology, the ‘eyes’ were those of the hundred-eyed Argus, placed there by Hera after Hermes killed him. The bird is proverbially taken as the type of an ostentatious, proud, or vain person; it may also be taken as a bird of ill-omen.

In the fable of the borrowed plumes, a jay or jackdaw is said to have decked itself in peacock's feathers in an unsuccessful attempt to impress.

In Hindu tradition, a peacock may be shown as the mount of the war-god Skanda.

Mrs Peacock is the name of one of the six stock characters constituting the murderer and suspects in the game of Cluedo.

Peacock Alley the main corridor of the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, so called because fashionable people paraded there.

peacock in his pride in heraldry, a peacock represented as facing the spectator with the tail expanded and the wings drooping.

Peacock Throne the former throne of the Kings of Delhi, later that of the Shahs of Iran, adorned with precious stones forming an expanded peacock's tail. The throne was taken to Persia by Nadir Shah (1688–1747), king of Persia, who in 1739 captured Delhi and with it the Peacock Throne and the Koh-i-noor diamond.

peacock's feather a long tail feather of the peacock, used figuratively as a symbol of ostentation or vainglory. It was traditionally believed that to bring a peacock's feather into the house would invite ill-luck.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).


Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.