Supposed by poets to shed tears. The drops, however, which fall
from their eyes are not tears, but an oily secretion from the
A poor sequestered stag ...
Did come to languish ... and the big round tears
Coursed one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase.
Shakespeare: As You Like It,
Any small animal; and used metaphorically for any collection of
trifles or trifling matters.
But mice and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom's food for seven long year.
Shakespeare: Lear, iii.4.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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