A cheap, fortified wine that is immortalized in the following sequence:

person the first: " What's the word?"
person the 2nd : "Thunderbird."
person the first : "What's the price?"
person the 2nd : "Forty twice."
person the first : "How d'you drink it?"
person the 2nd : "In a cup."
person the first : "How's it get you?"
person the 2nd : "Fucked up."

Thanks to spacewrench for the last 4 lines, which I'd never heard before.
In the mythology of Native American tribes from the Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes, the Thunderbird could shoot lightning from its eyes and cause thunderclaps by flapping its immense wings.

The most recent Thunderbird tale comes from the deserts of Arizona, where in 1890, the Tombstone Epigraph ran a story about two cowboys that shot, killed, and dragged a huge bird into town. With two horses, they managed to carry this ninety feet long bird for many miles.

This was all just typical media-make-believe, though. The Tombstone Epigraph made most of it up. Instead, a source who knew the cowboys reported that they actually saw a big bird, with a wingspan of around twenty to thirty feet. They shot at it, but missed because it was too far away. Their horses refused to go any closer to it. They never carried it into town, and no picture of the event exists (contrary to popular opinion.)

A Thunderbird is also a 26 foot long sailing vessel. The hull is made of plywood with a fiberglass shell at least as high as the waterline. My dad had a Thunderbird hull which he built onto, to make the sailboat of my childhood. It had an open cabin with four bunks, a kerosene stove, cooler, and pump toilet, and not much else. We used it to sail around the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. Times on that boat yielded some of my most cherished memories, those halycon summer days of sun, ocean, family, innocent pleasures and joys.


Thunderbird (or, technically speaking, Sandâbâdo) is a JR limited express train that connects the Kansai region to the Hokuriku region. Its southern terminus is Osaka Station, and its northern terminus is either Toyama, Uotsu, or Wakura Onsen, depending on which train you take. Trains stop at Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Fukui, and Kanazawa along the way, following the Kyoto Line, Kosei Line, and Hokuriku Line.

The trip from Osaka to Toyama takes just over 3 hours, and costs ¥7,980 for free seating, ¥8,490 for reserved seating, or ¥11,980 in the Green Car. Trains depart hourly from either end of the line, between roughly 7 AM and 6 PM.

The train is named after its 1960's-vintage predecessor, Raicho, whose name literally translates to "thunder bird." Raicho still runs between Osaka and Kanazawa, stopping at more stations than Thunderbird.

Thunderbird began service in 1993. The train used is a Kumoha 581 set, which resembles a scaled-down Shinkansen. It is electric, and has a top speed of 160 kph.

Thun"der*bird` (?), n. Zool.

An Australian insectivorous singing bird (Pachycephala gutturalis). The male is conspicuously marked with black and yellow, and has a black crescent on the breast. Called also white-throated thickhead, orange-breasted thrust, black-crowned thrush, guttural thrush, and black-breasted flycatcher.


© Webster 1913.

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