"Stone the crows!"

Does anyone know where this charming English expression came from? It seems to be generally used to express awe, disbelief, admiration, or some combination thereof, kind of like our “Oh, Wow!” or “Holy Shit!”
It was also the name of a hot but little-known band, but they came later.
–Alan Q

IT"S more an expression of surprise.But mainly when you were expecting something good or bad to happen anyway. Wanted a toy gun from Santa and getting a BB gun instead.Down here we say “Well, kick a sleeping dog!” or “Slap a mule”. An English fiend of mine heard me say “slap a mule” which is how I learned ‘stone the crows’ If you throw a stone at a resting flock of crows they will get a surprise(which you expected) but the resulting explosion of crows is going to surprise you. Same with kicking and slapping, they get a surprize but then you are liable to get one yourself.

Signitorily yours, Mr John
" Pardon me while I have a strange interlude."-Marx

A flock of crows is known as a “murder.”

It was a very good band. Lead singer was Maggie Belle. I think the lead guitarist (Les Harvey) got electrocuted on stage from an improperly grounded microphone.


NickRZ, that’s a murder of ravens, IIRC. I don’t think crows could get much past common assault. (Wish I knew how to put in one of those smileys, but since I don’t, ;-> )

Bob the Random Expert
“If we don’t have the answer, we’ll make one up.”

Try looking in FAQ under “Smileys” :wink:

Nick I knew it was a something and my finger did hover over the keys for a while. A ‘muttering of crows’? Skulk or is that fox? any way try saying a murder of crows (or ravens) in front of a farmer. " Sumthin wrong with yew ,boah?"

Thanks, Lumpy! :smiley:

(I was sure the FAQ had it, but I was in the midst of that message … :o )

Bob the Random Expert
“If we don’t have the answer, we’ll make one up.”

No, it’s an “unkindness” of ravens.


Murder is ill eagle.

I dunno about ill eagle, but in Australia, “fed eagle” means the same thing as “curl the mo”----or fantastic, great, the best.

“Time to fang it, mates—I’m dry enough to spit chips, and we’re well past due for a shout.”