The word 'strike' means to hit or dash on or against something, but I guess that word has another meaning in the context below. It seems to mean 'find' but I am not sure. What does it mean below exactly?

When a blue-jay lit on that house, with an acorn in his mouth, and says, 'Hello, I reckon I've struck something.' When he spoke, the acorn dropped out of his mouth and rolled down the roof, of course, but he didn't care; his mind was all on the thing he had struck.

—from 'Baker's blue-jay yarn' by Mark Twain

3 Answers 3


In this context, 'struck' means 'happened upon' or found'. The blue-jay's path has metaphorically run up against the hole-in-the-house that is the focus of the story, resulting in him noticing it.


Miners find a vein of gold, copper, etc by striking the rock with a pickax. Thus, "to strike" means figuratively "to find, to discover".


As defined by the Oxford dictionaries, here "strike" means "come into the mind of (someone) suddenly or unexpectedly".In that sentence, he remembers sth or sth comes to his mind suddenly.

For another example:‘a disturbing thought struck Melissa’

  • That's a specific (albeit, related) sense that doesn't apply to OP's cited example (where the blue-jay has actually found/chanced upon a "knot-hole in the roof"). I assume from context that blue-jays place a high value on such things. Aug 3, 2015 at 16:45

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