- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /ˈt͡ʃɪkɪn/
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- Rhymes: -ɪkɪn
- Hyphenation: chick‧en
- Rhymes: -ɪkən
From Middle English chicken, from Old English ċicen, cycen (“chicken”), diminutive of coc, cocc (“cock, rooster”), or perhaps already formed in Proto-Germanic *kiukīną (“chicken”). Cognate with North Frisian schückling (“chicken”), Saterland Frisian Sjuuken (“chicken”), Dutch kuiken (“chick, chicken”), Low German küken (“chicken”), German Küken (“chick”), dialectal German Küchlein (“chicken”) and Old Norse kjúklingr (“chicken”). More at cock, -en.
- (countable) A domestic fowl, Gallus gallus, especially when young.
- (uncountable) The meat from this bird eaten as food.
- (countable, slang) A coward.
- (countable, slang) A young or inexperienced person.
1752, Jonathan Swift, “Stella's Birth-day, 1720”, in The Works of D. Jonathan Swift. In Nine Volumes. The Seventh Edition, to which is Prefixed, the Doctor's Life, with Remarks on His Writings, from the Earl of Orrery and Others, not to be Found in any Former Edition of His Works, volume II (Containing His Poetical Writings), 7th edition, Dublin; Edinburgh: [P]rinted; and [...] reprinted, for G. Hamilton & J. Balfour, & L. Hunter at Edinburgh; and A. Stalker, at Glasgow; and sold by them and other booksellers, OCLC 642497542, page 99:
- Purſue your trade of ſcandal-picking, / Your hints, that Stella is no chicken: / Your innuendos, when you tell us, / That Stella loves to talk with fellows; […]
- 1886, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “The Lauriston Garden Mystery”, in A Study in Scarlet (Beeton's Christmas Annual; 28th season), London; New York, N.Y.: Ward Lock & Co., November 1887, OCLC 15800088; republished as A Study in Scarlet. A Detective Story, new edition, London: Ward, Lock, Bowden, and Co., 1892, OCLC 23246292, page 43:
- "This case will make a stir, sir," he remarked. "It beats anything I have seen, and I am no chicken."
- (countable, Polari) A young, attractive, slim man, usually having little body hair; compare chickenhawk.
- The game of dare.
- (bird): biddy, chook (Australia, NZ)
- (coward): see Thesaurus:coward
- (young inexperienced person): spring chicken
- (young, attractive, slim man): twink
- chicken à la King
- chicken-and-egg problem
- chicken feed
- chicken fillet
- chicken Kiev
- chicken nugget
- chicken salt
- General Tso's chicken
- like a chicken with its head cut off
- like a chicken with the pip
Shortening of chicken out.
- (intransitive) To avoid a situation one is afraid of.
2014, Anne M. Brown, “James Day”, in Belonging: The Story of How James Became a Brown, Acacia Ridge, Qld.: Australian eBook Publisher, ISBN 978-1-925177-25-1:
- To reach the lower branches of the blackwood one had to swing Tarzan-like across a narrow gully choked with gorse and blackberries. […] [T]he challenge of the rope swing was definitely more in James' line. […] Even if he slipped and failed, or worse, chickened, they would be unlikely to judge too harshly.
- chicken on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- chicken (food) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- chicken (game) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- chicken (gay slang) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- chicken (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- (Britain dialectal or obsolete) plural of
1669, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London:
- The 21 or 22 day the Chicken are hatch'd; […]