Since it is Canada Day, I'm actually not here. No, really. I'm not. I'm writing this in the past. I'm going to the cottage for a family gathering of epic proportions. Approximately 57 family members will be gathering. It's going to be fun!
Well, there's nothing left now but for to deliver your Forgotten English:
A term of reproach, the meaning of which appears to be unknown to those who use it. It is evidently a corruption of whore's-bird, to which it must be added that bird in Old English and Anglo-Saxon means birth, and hence offspring, progeny; or the Old English burd, bride, young woman, in which case the term means a bastard daughter. Either way, it comes to much the same, and the term was easily generalized.
- William Cope's Glossary of Hampshire Words and Phrases, 1883
Whore is the past participle of [Anglo-Saxon] hynan, to hire. The word means simply someone, anyone, hired. It was formerly written without the w.
- John Tooke's Diversions of Purley, 1840
Wasbird, a wartime phrase used of any elderly man eager to enlist.
- Edward Fraser's Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases, 1925
Used also of children and occasionally of animals.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905