Designer: Jen Troyer

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If you're feeling poorly, borrow a page from the avian kingdom and say you're "sick as a parrot." Why a parrot? Remarkably, this curious comparison predates the Monty Python "dead parrot" sketch. Several lively theories, none of them provable, explain its origin: One is that parrot smugglers from South America used to sedate birds to sneak them quietly across the border to U.S. buyers. When the birds awoke from their drugged sleep, groggy and stumbling, their new owners thought they looked hungover and coined the whimsical comparison. Another theory suggests that "parrot" is a corruption of the French word "Pierrot" (i.e., a pasty-faced clown). Still others point to psittacosis (a contagious bird flu), or credit a mention in a 17th-century play by Aphra Behn. In any case, if you are unsteady on your pins, have a flutter with this metaphor—and take two aspirin.