Idiom #13: A feather in one’s cap

This week’s idiom:

“A feather in one’s cap.”


A special achievement or acknowledgment of one’s work or efforts is said to be “a feather in one’s cap.”


A number of different cultures around the world celebrate victory over an enemy or the killing of an enemy by placing a feather somewhere on the head, as in the head-dress of the American Indians. Feathers still feature prominently in the ceremonial apparel of many cultures, from the highland chiefs in Papua New Guinea with their elaborate head-dresses made from the feathers of a Bird of Paradise through to the ostrich and heron feathers used in the cap of members of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in Great Britain.

Today, the common expression is used of anyone who has accomplished some special achievement.


  • Winning the seven year old race on Sports Day is certainly a feather in your cap.

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