• "'See what my speckled hen has hatched.'"
    "'See what my speckled hen has hatched.'"
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n hen female of certain aquatic animals e.g. octopus or lobster
    • n hen adult female bird
    • n hen adult female chicken
    • n hen flesh of an older chicken suitable for stewing
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"What food for hens that would make." "What food for hens that would make."
The hen and the trench The hen and the trench
The Hen and the Fox The Hen and the Fox
The youth tries to catch the hen as the Sister of the Sun watches The youth tries to catch the hen as the Sister of the Sun watches
I Want a Rooster for Every Hen I Want a Rooster for Every Hen

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A mother hen turns her egg approximately 50 times in a day. This is so the yolk does not stick to the shell
    • n Hen (Zoöl) The female of the domestic fowl; also, the female of grouse, pheasants, or any kind of birds; as, the heath hen; the gray hen. ☞ Used adjectively or in combination to indicate the female; as, hen canary, hen eagle, hen turkey, peahen.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Hens will produce larger eggs as they grow older
    • n hen The female of the domestic fowl: opposed to cock.
    • n hen Any female bird; especially, used attributively, equivalent to female: as, hen canary, hen sparrow, etc.
    • n hen In a general sense, the common domestic or barn-yard fowl (Gallus domesticus), or any specimen of this fowl, in all its varieties and without regard to gender; a chicken. See Gallus.
    • n hen A bivalve mollusk of the family Veneridæ and genus Tapes. At Hereford in England the name is given to two species, T. decussata, the purr, and T. aurea. See hen-clam.
    • hen Hence: the more original form.
    • hen To throw.
    • hen To back down in a cowardly way; funk out: as, he henned at the last minute.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: On average, a hen lays 300 eggs per year
    • n Hen hen the female of any bird, esp. of the domestic fowl
    • n Hen the subjection of a husband to his wife
    • ***


  • H. L. Mencken
    “I go on working for the same reason that a hen goes on laying eggs.”
  • Leo Burnett
    Leo Burnett
    “If you are writing about baloney, don't try and make it Cornish hen, because that's the worst kind of baloney there is. Just make it darn good baloney.”
  • Samuel Butler
    “A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.”
  • Mark Twain
    “Noise proves nothing, Often a hen who has laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.”
  • Nikita Khrushchev
    Nikita Khrushchev
    “If one cannot catch a bird of paradise, better take a wet hen.”
  • Scottish Proverb
    Scottish Proverb
    “It's a sad house where the hen crows louder than the cock.”


As rare as hen's teeth - (USA) Something that is rare as hen's teeth is very rare or non-existent.
Mad as a wet hen - If someone is as mad as a wet hen, they are extremely angry.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. henn, hen, hæn,; akin to D. hen, OHG. henna, G. henne, Icel. hna, Dan. höna,; the fem. corresponding to AS. hana, cock, D. haan, OHG. hano, G. hahn, Icel. hani, Dan. & Sw. hane,. Prob. akin to L. canere, to sing, and orig. meaning, a singer. Cf. Chanticleer


In literature:

A hen that lays thereout should hae a white nest-egg.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
So Steve bought thirteen hens and a rooster.
"The Gentle Art of Cooking Wives" by Elizabeth Strong Worthington
What's the matter with the hen, anyway?
"Dorothy on a Ranch" by Evelyn Raymond
Big Hen can run the ranch well enough.
"The Girl from Sunset Ranch" by Amy Bell Marlowe
The mayor and sheriffs mentioned in the text and in the copy in the Cottonian MS., as having served those offices in the 14th Hen.
"A Chronicle of London from 1089 to 1483" by Anonymous
Now all de pretty hens Wants dat rooster fer deir beau.
"Negro Folk Rhymes" by Thomas W. Talley
It was dark all around, and hen sat close to hen, but the one who sat nearest to her merry neighbour did not sleep.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
As they were leaving the barn, they had forgotten to shut the door, and a curious old hen had marched in.
"Little Folks (December 1884)" by Various
Then Mr. Bell called the correspondence clerk, Mr. Henning.
"The Red Triangle" by Arthur Morrison
The old hen always picks the food to pieces for her chickens.
"Friends in Feathers and Fur, and Other Neighbors" by James Johonnot

In poetry:

They can do nocht but scart an' scrape
Among the strings like ony hen;
To hear them at it is eneuch
To pit what hair ane has on en'.
"Blythe Willie Stewart" by Alexander Anderson
Tom-Moory Pathos; -- all things bare, --
With such a turket! such a hen!
And scrambling forms of distant men,
O! ain't you glad you were not there!
"Parody of Tennyson'sTo Edward Lear on His Travels in Greece" by Edward Lear
'The stranger had a queerish face,
His smile was hardly pleasant,
And, though he meant it for a grace,
Yet this old hen of barnyard race
Was but a stingy present.
"Gold Egg: A Dream-Fantasy" by James Russell Lowell
En ze maaiemeien en ze zwaaiezweien
Als witmolenwieken door het volle graan;
En het ritselruizelt aan hun struische zijen
Of windvlagen wiss'lings langs hen nederslaan.
"De Maaiers" by Margot Vos
'Moreover, I do think that the spring birds
Will be my willing servants. Wheresoe'er
There mourns a hen-bird that hath lost her mate
Her will I tell my sorrow—weeping hers.
"Crazed" by Sydney Thompson Dobell
A sparrow, when sparrows like parrots could speak,
Addressed an old hen who could talk like a jay:
Said he, "It's unjust that we sparrows must seek
Our food, when your family's fed every day.
"The Sparrow And The Hen" by Charles Lamb

In news:

Guest conductor and violin soloist Henning Kraggerud performed with the Pacific Symphony at the Segerstrom Concert Hall Thursday night.
W hen Pam Tillis invited her family to sing on her new album, she expected a day of family bonding.
Sue and George Henning, shown with mini-Joe Pa, have attended all but one home game since 1963.
W hen we had Osama bin Laden, we let him walk away.
At the end of this adventure, Jeannette Walker, our Excursions Unlimited tour director and unofficial mother hen, passed out slips of paper.
John Henning Schumann, MD, is a writer and physician based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Game Hens with Turnip Green Stuffing.
He was born Tuesday into the Henning family of Saulston.
Marjorie and Rich Henning named him GI Joe because they had seen a puppy on television.
Though marketing courses are legion in business schools, sales classes are hen's-teeth rare.
Vacant lot Tom Henning's reason not to vote last time around.
William DeShazer/Staff Collier County Commissioner Tom Henning listens in during the debate over the Immokalee Master Plan during the Collier County Commission meeting at the Collier County Administration Building on Tuesday June 12, 2012.
Armstrong-Potomac and Bismarck-Henning during the Vermilion County Volleyball Tournament Championship game at Catlin High School Monday Oct 15, 2012.
Bismarck-Henning's Taylor Ellis bumps the ball during the Vermilion County Volleyball Tournament Championship game at Catlin High School Monday Oct 15, 2012.
W hen Robert Wallack founded The Wallack Firm, P.C.

In science:

As far as Hen 135 and Hen 198 are concerned, Fig. 3 shows that the spectra of these stars are very different from those of other S stars of the Henize sample.
The Henize sample of S stars. I. The technetium dichotomy
Many spectral features adopted as wavelength standards, as well as the technetium blend, are difficult or even impossible to identify in the spectra of Hen 135 and Hen 198.
The Henize sample of S stars. I. The technetium dichotomy
Hen 135 (=UY Cen) is thus the prototype SC star.
The Henize sample of S stars. I. The technetium dichotomy
Hen 198 (=RZ Sgr) has an Se-type spectrum; Stephenson (1984) quotes the HD catalogue noting that ‘the spectrum is similar to class N, but does not belong to that class’.
The Henize sample of S stars. I. The technetium dichotomy
Same as Fig. 1, but for two prototype S stars (Hen 186, Tc-poor and Hen 197, Tc-rich), and for the two outstanding stars UY Cen (SC) and RZ Sgr.
The Henize sample of S stars. I. The technetium dichotomy