Let him keep peacock to himself. Let him keep to himself his
eccentricities. When George III. had partly recovered from one of his
attacks, his Ministers got him to read the King's Speech, but he ended
every sentence with the word “peacock.” The Minister who drilled him
said that peacock was an excellent word for ending a sentence, only
kings should not let subjects hear it, but should whisper it softly.
The result was a perfect success: the pause at the close of each
sentence had an excellent effect.
By the peacock!
A common oath which at one time was thought sacred. The fabled
incorruptibility of the peacock's flesh caused the bird to be adopted
as a type of the resurrection.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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