Canary in the coal mine. Meaning. Someone/something that is an early warning of danger. Examples.
Did they really use canaries in coal mines?
On this day in 1986, a mining tradition dating back to 1911 ended: the use of canaries in coal mines to detect carbon monoxide and other toxic gases before they hurt humans. … Although ending the use of the birds to detect deadly gas was more humane, miners’ feelings were mixed.
Where does canary in the coal mine come from?
An allusion to caged canaries (birds) that miners would carry down into the mine tunnels with them. If dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide collected in the mine, the gases would kill the canary before killing the miners, thus providing a warning to exit the tunnels immediately.
Who sings canary in a coal mine?
How many canaries died in coal mines?
Three Billion Canaries in the Coal Mine. What does it mean for us that birds are dying?
Which bird is a symbol of death?
The owl is viewed by many cultures as the omen of death. In Native American mythology, the owl is an ominous presence with many tales of warnings about its appearance. The most common is a symbol of death.
Why do Canaries die in coal mines?
Canaries were iconically used in coal mines to detect the presence of carbon monoxide. The bird’s rapid breathing rate, small size, and high metabolism, compared to the miners, led birds in dangerous mines to succumb before the miners, thereby giving them time to take action.
What does Canary mean?
canary(Noun) An informer or snitch; a squealer. Etymology: From the Latin Canariae insulae, “Canary Islands” (Spanish “Islas Canarias”); from the largest island Insula Canaria (“Dog Island” or “Canine Island”), named for its dogs, from canarius, “canine”, from canis, dog.
What does being someone’s Canary mean?
n. someone acting as an informer or decoy for the police.
Were canaries used in gold mines?
Later, canaries were found to be more sensitive and a more effective indicator as they showed more visible signs of distress. Their use in mining is documented from around 1900. The birds were sometimes kept in carriers which had small oxygen bottles attached to revive the birds.
How do canaries breathe?
Why use a bird instead of, say, a mouse? It all had to do with the birds’ breathing anatomy: canaries get a dose of air when they inhale and when they exhale, thus a double dose of toxic gases. Thankfully, in 1986, more humane electronic warning devices replaced them.