a pride of winter


Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect

This handsome long-tailed duck is truly a pride of winter, saving its best plumage for the time when others turn drab. The drake in autumn takes on a snowy white head with gaudy, clownlike eye patches. Even the hen follows suit, turning whiter and brighter for winter.

William Warner, Beautiful Swimmers: Waterman, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay

How can I interpret “a pride of winter”? Does it mean the winter should be proud of this duck?
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    How old is that book? The phrasing seems faintly archaic to me.

    Edit to add: I looked it up. 1976, so not vey old. And a prize-winning tome at that, so I guess just "elevated" or elegant phrasing rather than past-its-sell-by date, then!
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