• WordNet 3.6
    • adj chicken easily frightened
    • n chicken a domestic fowl bred for flesh or eggs; believed to have been developed from the red jungle fowl
    • n chicken a foolhardy competition; a dangerous activity that is continued until one competitor becomes afraid and stops
    • n chicken the flesh of a chicken used for food
    • n chicken a person who lacks confidence, is irresolute and wishy-washy
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A Little Chicken Popped Out A Little Chicken Popped Out
The Chickens That Were Wiser Than Lottie The Chickens That Were Wiser Than Lottie
pan, kettle, potatoes and chicken feet pan, kettle, potatoes and chicken feet
People and chickens People and chickens

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The world population of chickens is about equal to the number of people
    • Chicken A young bird or fowl, esp. a young barnyard fowl.
    • Chicken A young person; a child; esp. a young woman; a maiden; same as spring chicken. "Stella is no chicken ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In October 1986, Pepsi paid close to $840 million to Nabisco for the Kentucky Fried Chicken empire
    • n chicken The young of the domestic hen: in this sense now less exact than chick.
    • n chicken A domestic or barn-yàrd fowl, especially one less than a year old.
    • n chicken The young of some birds other than the domestic hen.
    • n chicken A common name of the pinnated grouse or prairie-hen (prairie-chicken), Cupidonia cupido (see cut under Cupidonia), and of the sharp-tailed grouse, Pediæcetes phasianellus.
    • n chicken A person of tender years; a child: sometimes used as a term of endearment, or with a negative (no chicken), in satirical implication of mature years.
    • n chicken A name applied with a qualifying adjective to various fishes, as in the north of Ireland to the Atherina presbyter, called the Portaferry chicken.
    • n chicken A kind of turtle whose shell is used in commerce.
    • n chicken Embroidery, especially embroidery upon muslin.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are more chickens than people in the world
    • Chicken the young of birds, esp. of the hen: its flesh: a child: a faint-hearted person
    • ***


  • Proverb
    “Curses are like chickens, they always come home.”
  • Aesop
    “Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.”
  • Grandma Axiom
    Grandma Axiom
    “A chicken doesn't stop scratching just because worms are scarce.”
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
    “Boys, I may not know much, but I know chicken shit from chicken salad.”
  • Rutherford Platt
    Rutherford Platt
    “We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?”
  • Bob Hope
    “The only thing chicken about Israel is their soup.”


Don't catch your chickens before they're hatched - This means that you should wait until you know whether something has produced the results you desire, rather than acting beforehand. ('Don't count your chickens until they've hatched' is an alternative.)
Handwriting like chicken scratch - If your handwriting is very hard to read, it is like chicken scratch.
No spring chicken - If someone is no spring chicken, they are not young.
Spring chicken - Someone who's a spring chicken is very young, often inexperienced.
When the chickens come home to roost - When a person pays dearly for something bad he or she did in the past, the chickens come home to roost.
Which came first the chicken or the egg? - This idiomatic expression is used when it is not clear who or what caused something.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. cicen, cyceun, dim. of coc, cock; akin to LG. kiken, küken, D. Kieken, kuiken, G. küchkein,. See Cock the animal
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cicen; cf. Dut. kieken, Ger. küchlein.


In literature:

Why do many kinds of people keep chickens?
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study" by Ontario Ministry of Education
One mo' move an' us has fricasseed green chicken afteh de dinin' cah man gits you.
"Lady Luck" by Hugh Wiley
For Consomme a la Rachel, however, the breast of chicken is necessary.
"Choice Cookery" by Catherine Owen
And they built a refrigerator to keep things cold; and over there they have a chicken-coop.
"Girl Scouts in the Adirondacks" by Lillian Elizabeth Roy
What do you know about game chickens?
"The Jucklins" by Opie Read
Then she heard the chickens peeping.
"Clematis" by Bertha B. Cobb
Flour chicken and fry in butter.
"Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking" by Unknown
Bless his little heart, he shall chase the chickens if he wants to, so there, there.
"At the Sign of the Jack O'Lantern" by Myrtle Reed
When properly cooked this is delicious cold, and almost as good for salad as chicken or turkey.
"Health on the Farm" by H. F. Harris
There were no eggs, because the chickens had sickened from eating grasshoppers in the fall and nearly all had died.
"The Wind Before the Dawn" by Dell H. Munger
He gits choked on Chicken pie.
"Negro Folk Rhymes" by Thomas W. Talley
She called the ugly water-snakes her little chickens, and allowed them to crawl all over her bosom.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
While awaiting orders on the river we consumed a great deal of time hunting chickens and ducks.
"A Soldier in the Philippines" by Needom N. Freeman
The few chickens in the settlement mistook the clock and went to roost.
"Winning the Wilderness" by Margaret Hill McCarter
A gutter runs down the middle of the streets, where chickens are killed, and the heads and uneatable parts of flesh, fish, and fowl thrown.
"In the Tail of the Peacock" by Isabel Savory
We had no intention of embarking in chickens when we settled in Brook Ridge.
"Dwellers in Arcady" by Albert Bigelow Paine
A rat one day went into a chicken-house where there was a brood of young chickens.
"Friends in Feathers and Fur, and Other Neighbors" by James Johonnot
Tom peddles the truck, eggs, and chickens, in the town and the suburban Winnsboro mill village.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves" by Work Projects Administration
They were encouraged to make a choice by a small stick Chicken Little hurled at them.
"Chicken Little Jane on the Big John" by Lily Munsell Ritchie
Sometimes he has corn shucking time and we has hawg meat and meal bread and whiskey and eggnog and chicken.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves." by Work Projects Administration

In poetry:

I hope I'm not too orthodox
To give a joke away,
That took me like the chicken-pox
And left a debt to pay.
"A Fowl Affair" by Hattie Howard
I pondered o'er the sacrifice,
The merry-thought, the wings,
On giblet gravy, salad nice,
And chicken-pie-ous things.
"A Fowl Affair" by Hattie Howard
Potatoes, biscuits, mush or hash,
Joint, chop, or chicken limb--
So long as it was edible,
'T was all the same to him!
"The Ballad Of The Taylor Pup" by Eugene Field
And she sits by the fire
Who has reared so many men;
Her voice is low like the chickens'
With the things she says again:
"Interior" by Padraic Colum
THE little moths are creeping
Across the cottage pane;
On the floor the chickens gather,
And they make talk and complain.
"Interior" by Padraic Colum
It was a pity about Dickens’
Insane jealousy of chickens,
And one could really almost weep
At his morbid mistrust of sheep.
"Clerihew – Dickens" by Edmund Clerihew Bentley

In news:

Perfect One-Pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables and ultimate Chicken Chimichangas are prepared.
I saw a newspaper recipe for a chicken roulade with raw chicken rolled around deli meats and cooked .
Cooking chicken that is completely thawed will yield best results, as cooking with frozen or slightly frozen chicken will require longer cooking times and can affect the overall outcome of the dish.
With names like Chicken Spa, Coupe De Plume and California Coop , the first Silicon Valley Tour de Coop bicycle tour will feature chicken coops ranging from the funky to architecturally refined.
These chicken fingers were inspired by the Crispy Cheddar Chicken Tenders I made a few weeks ago.
At least once a week, someone tells me that some food other than chicken "tastes like chicken".
Tom Cooley, owner of Harvest Fried Chicken in Woodbine, holds a chicken plate in the restaurant's kitchen.
Other great recipes the dudes have prepared are Game Day Meatball Sandwiches and a new take on fried chicken called Not-Your-Grandma's Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes.
Brothers Pat and Tim McMurchy didn't see chicken tenders and fried chicken livers in their future when they came to Tulsa in 1984 to run the 49-year-old Louisiane Restaurant.
For instance, in the two chicken dishes, it was necessary to cook the protein separately from the sauces and ladle the sauces over the chicken thighs once the entrees were served (or packaged).
Chicken shashlik is a dish of marinated and grilled chicken chunks.
1st Class Brad Turner, the chef known for singing his way through the Pentagon Channel's "Grill Sergeants" cooking show, goes head to head and chicken to chicken tonight against chef Bobby Flay on the Food Network.
How about a chicken for the chicken coop.
Am I glad I eat faux chicken instead of chicken flesh.
Isn't that like sending the fox to find out why the chickens are missing from the chicken coup.

In science:

Since you are a returning patron, what do you recommend?’ ‘Well, since you like spicy dishes, you may enjoy the chili chicken curry.’ A mutually reinforcing dynamic ensues.
A Connection-Centric Survey of Recommender Systems Research
Chicken `a la Descartes (favorite chicken recipes of the great philosophers).
Independence Properties of Algorithmically Random Sequences
This leads to the ’chicken-egg’ conundrum, as the largely random sequential information encoded in DNA is correlated via RNA with the high degree of stereo-chemical information in proteins.
Magnetism, FeS colloids, and Origins of Life
The main result obtained by Yerkes and Dodson as well as similar more late experiments with various species such as rats, chickens, cats and also with men (with specific tasks for each species of course) turned out to be universal.
Simple Quantum Model of Learning Explains the Yerkes-Dodson Law in Psychology
In a fundamental and important discovery it was shown that developmental differences in a chicken (gallus gallus domesticus) gynandromorph (Rooster-Hen in 5a) are cell based and not hormone based [113, 22].
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
Unlike humans, chicken sex chromosomes have the opposite heteromorphic sorting.
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
The cells of female chickens have the heteromorphic ZW sex chromosomes while the males have homomorphic sex chromosomes ZZ.
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
Intersexes and sex determination in chickens.
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
Somatic sex identity is cell autonomous in the chicken.
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
Somatic sex identity is cell autonomous in the chicken.
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
Nevertheless, we emphasize that electronic and atomic structure are closely interconnected and do not consider it very useful to analyze “the chicken and the egg problem”, i.e., to discuss whether the geometry creates the electronic structure or vice versa.
Theory of Adsorption on Metal Substrates
The critic may argue that this is just (another) chicken-egg problem, and we agree with this assessment, i.e., our approach is simply taken because it is useful.
Theory of Adsorption on Metal Substrates
This is the same ranking as for the “chicken game”, which is familiar in conventional (i.e., not evolutionary) game theory.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
One simple class of models are those dubbed ‘fried-chicken’ (FC) models.
Lorentz violation and neutrinos
An obvious chicken and egg question underlies all of these results.
AGN Outflows in Emission and Absorption: The SDSS Perspective