English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /hɛn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛn

Etymology 1 edit

 
A mother hen with chicks.

From Middle English hen, from Old English henn (hen), from Proto-West Germanic *hannju, from Proto-Germanic *hanjō (hen), from Proto-Indo-European *kan-, *kana- (to sing).

Cognate with Saterland Frisian Hanne (hen), West Frisian hin (hen), Dutch hen (hen), German Low German Heen (hen), German Henne (hen), Danish høne (hen), Swedish höna (hen), Icelandic hæna (hen). Related also to Old English hana (cock, rooster).

Alternative forms edit

Noun edit

hen (plural hens)

  1. A female chicken (Gallus gallus), particularly a sexually mature one kept for her eggs.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter II, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      She was a fat, round little woman, richly apparelled in velvet and lace, [] ; and the way she laughed, cackling like a hen, the way she talked to the waiters and the maid, []—all these unexpected phenomena impelled one to hysterical mirth, and made one class her with such immortally ludicrous types as Ally Sloper, the Widow Twankey, or Miss Moucher.
    Coordinate term: cock
  2. A female of other bird species, particularly a sexually mature female fowl.
    Coordinate term: cock
    • 2023 June 17, Severin Carrell, “Dancing Capercaillie bird makes a tentative comeback in Scotland”, in The Guardian[6]:
      In Tain, north of Inverness, staff detected 11 males and at least seven hens – the highest number there since 2011.
  3. (uncommon) A female fish (especially a salmon or trout) or crustacean.
    • 2005, Roderick Sutterby, Malcolm Greenhalgh, “Life in the Nursery”, in Atlantic Salmon: An Illustrated Natural History, Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, →ISBN, page 21:
      As spawning time approaches – autumn or very early winter in most rivers, though in some late-run streams salmon may spawn as late as January or February – the hen's colouration becomes first a matt-pewter and then a drab dark brown-grey. The cock fish, in contrast, begins to gain some brighter colours.
    Synonym: henfish
    Coordinate terms: cock, cockfish
  4. (figuratively) A woman.
    • 1785, Francis Grose, A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue:
      Hen, a woman. A cock and hen club; a club composed of men and women.
    1. (UK, informal) A bride-to-be, particularly in the context of a hen night.
  5. (UK, informal) A hen night.
  6. (Scotland, informal) An affectionate term of address used to women or girls.
    Don't cry, hen. Everything will be all right.
  7. (figuratively, derogatory, uncommon) A henlike person of either sex.
  8. The hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria), a bivalve shellfish.
Synonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Verb edit

hen (third-person singular simple present hens, present participle henning, simple past and past participle henned)

  1. Alternative form of mother-hen
    • 1943, McCall's - Volume 71, page 69:
      Once he had flared up, "If ever a man was henned, it's me!"
    • 1984, Susan C. Feldhake, Love Beyond Surrender, page 52:
      Mammy henned the black workers into placing the trunks beside the girls.
See also edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English henne, heonne, hinne, from earlier henene, heonenen, henen, from Old English heonan, hionan, heonane, heonone (hence, from here, away, from how), from Proto-Germanic *hina, *hinanō (from here), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱe-, *ḱey- (this, here). Cognate with Dutch heen (away), German hin (hence, from here), Danish hen (away, further, on). See also hence.

Adverb edit

hen (not comparable)

  1. (dialectal) Hence.

Etymology 3 edit

From hen (hence, away), or a variant of hench.

Verb edit

hen (third-person singular simple present hens, present participle henning, simple past and past participle henned)

  1. (dialectal) To throw.

Anagrams edit

Breton edit

Etymology edit

From Proto-Brythonic *hen, from Proto-Celtic *senos, from Proto-Indo-European *sénos.

Adjective edit

hen

  1. old, ancient

Cimbrian edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle High German haben, from Old High German hāben, from Proto-West Germanic *habbjan, from Proto-Germanic *habjaną (to have; to hold). Cognate with German haben, English have.

Verb edit

hen (irregular, auxiliary hen)

  1. (Tredici Comuni) to have

References edit

Danish edit

Etymology edit

From Middle Low German hen, ultimately related to Proto-Germanic *hiz (here). Related to Swedish hän, English hence, and German hin.

Pronunciation edit

Adverb edit

hen

  1. Used with a verb, indicating a movement towards or to something.
    hen til din far.
    Go to your father.
    Hestene går hen imod mig.
    The horses are walking towards me.

Usage notes edit

Contrast with henne; where hen indicates movement, henne indicates position. Thus hvor løber han henne? means "where is he running?", whereas hvor løber han hen? means "to where is he running?".

Dutch edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Old Dutch hin, from Proto-Germanic *himaz.

Pronoun edit

hen (personal)

  1. they (subject pronoun)
  2. them (object pronoun)
Usage notes edit

See the usage note at hun for details on use.

Inflection edit
Related terms edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle Dutch henne, from Old Dutch *henna, from Proto-West Germanic *hannju, from Proto-Germanic *hanjō, from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂n- (to sing).

Noun edit

hen f (plural hennen, diminutive hennetje n, masculine haan)

  1. hen, female chicken; female of a related species.
  2. A female of the species of birds brooding on the ground.
  3. (figuratively) 'bird', colloquial term for a human female
Synonyms edit
Related terms edit
Descendants edit
  • Jersey Dutch: hän

Etymology 3 edit

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Pronoun edit

hen (possessive hun)

  1. (gender-neutral, nonstandard) they (singular) (subject pronoun). A gender-neutral singular third-person personal pronoun.
  2. (gender-neutral, nonstandard) them (singular) (object pronoun). A gender-neutral singular third-person personal pronoun.

Finnish edit

Noun edit

hen

  1. genitive singular of he (he (a letter of some Semitic alphabets))

Japanese edit

Romanization edit

hen

  1. Rōmaji transcription of へん

Mandarin edit

Romanization edit

hen

  1. Nonstandard spelling of hēn.
  2. Nonstandard spelling of hén.
  3. Nonstandard spelling of hěn.
  4. Nonstandard spelling of hèn.

Usage notes edit

  • Transcriptions of Mandarin into the Latin script often do not distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Mandarin language, using words such as this one without indication of tone.

Middle English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Old English henn, from Proto-West Germanic *hannju, from Proto-Germanic *hanjō.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

hen (plural hennes or hennen, genitive hennes or henne)

  1. hen, chicken
  2. female bird

Descendants edit

References edit

Mohawk edit

Particle edit

hen

  1. yes

Norwegian Bokmål edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle Low German hen, henne.

Adverb edit

hen

  1. used with a verb, indicating a movement towards or to something.
  2. (dialectal) where

Etymology 2 edit

 
English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Through Swedish hen from Finnish hän.

Pronoun edit

hen (third person singular gender-neutral personal pronoun, possessive hens)

  1. (neologism) they
    Hvis noen kjører over fartsgrensen, må hen betale en bot.
    If someone exceeds the speed limit, they must pay a fine.
    Kommer studenten for sent, må hen vente ute.
    If the student comes too late, they have to wait outside.
    Har du nummeret hens?
    Do you have their number?
Usage notes edit
  • Hen can be used when someone's gender is unknown or irrelevant, or to refer to someone who prefers a gender neutral pronoun instead of han (he) or hun (she).
See also edit

References edit

Further reading edit

Norwegian Nynorsk edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle Low German hen, henne.

Adverb edit

hen

  1. used with a verb, indicating a movement towards or to something.
  2. (dialectal) where

Etymology 2 edit

 
English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Through Swedish hen from Finnish hän.

Pronoun edit

hen (third person singular gender-neutral personal pronoun, possessive hens)

  1. (neologism) they
    Kjem studenten for seint, må hen venta ute.
    If the student comes too late, they have to wait outside.
    Har du nummeret hens?
    Do you have their number?
Usage notes edit
  • Hen can be used when someone's gender is unknown or irrelevant, or to refer to someone who prefers a gender neutral pronoun instead of han (he) or ho (she).
See also edit

References edit

  • “hen” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
  • “hen”, in Norsk ordbok: ordbok over det norske folkemålet og det nynorske skriftmålet, volume 5, Oslo: Samlaget, 2005, columns 292–293
  • “hen” in Ivar Aasen (1873) Norsk Ordbog med dansk Forklaring
  • “hen_2” in Det Norske Akademis ordbok (NAOB).

Further reading edit

Polish edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Proto-Slavic *eno.

Pronunciation edit

Adverb edit

hen (not comparable)

  1. (literary) far away

Further reading edit

  • hen in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • hen in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Scots edit

Noun edit

hen (uncountable)

  1. Term of address for a woman.
    Alright Mary hen?
    (please add an English translation of this usage example)

Swedish edit

 
English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia
 
“Hen” represented among other personal pronouns in Swedish

Etymology 1 edit

Created as an alternative to hon (she) and han (he). The coining of the word has probably been influenced by the Finnish hän, a personal pronoun used about human beings and which does not specify gender (Finnish lacks grammatical gender entirely). Hen was suggested as early as 1966 by linguist Rolf Dunås in Swedish regional newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning and was proposed again in a 1994 article by linguist Hans Karlgren, but did not receive widespread attention until around 2010.[1]

Pronunciation edit

Pronoun edit

hen (third person singular gender-neutral personal pronoun, oblique hen or henom, possessive hens)

  1. (neologism) A third-person singular pronoun of unspecified gender; they, thon; alternative to hon (she) and han (he).
    • 2011, Anders Lokko, “En sång om att ha följt sitt hjärta”, in Svenska Dagbladet[7]:
      Alla skilsmässor och separationer är olika. Men i nästan samtliga är det i slutändan någon som blir lämnad och någon som lämnar. Ingen av de rollerna är enkel. Fast det är när den som lämnar gör det för att hen har träffat någon annan […]
      All divorces and separations are different. But in almost all cases, someone is left behind or someone leaves. None of those roles are easy. However, it's when the one who does leaves because they have met someone else […]
    • 2011, Lotten Wiklund, “Jag vill vara hen – inte hon eller han”, in Dagens Nyheter[8], archived from the original on 2 June 2013:
      I efterhand har hen förstått att det förmodligen har att göra med att hen aldrig riktigt accepterat att det bara skulle finnas två kön.
      In hindsight, they have come to understand that it probably has to do with the fact that they have never accepted that there are just two genders.
    • 2012, Jesper Lundqvist, Kivi och Monsterhund:
      […]ska hen få en hund, kan de halvt säkert lova[…]
      […]then they will get a dog, they can almost promise[…]
    • 2013, Lova Olsson, “Arnholm lanserar 'hen' i riksdagen”, in Svenska Dagbladet[9]:
      – Målet är att varje individ ska få det stöd hen behöver för att så snabbt som möjligt lära sig svenska, komma i arbete och klara sin egen försörjning, sade den nyblivna jämställdhetsministern.
      – The goal is to make sure that every individual should receive the support they need to learn Swedish, start working and manage to support themselves as soon as possible, said the newly appointed Minister of Gender Equality.
    • 2013, Ann-Marie Begler, Caroline Dyrefors Grufman, “Flera allvarliga kränkningar i skolan de senaste veckorna”, in Dagens Nyheter[10]:
      – En person i personalen som sliter i och skäller på barnen, hotar med stryk och skrämmer dem med det hen vet att de är rädda för.
      – A person on the staff pushes around and yells at the children, threatens with violence and frightens them with things they know they are afraid of.
    • 2014, Nina Åkestam, Meningen med hela skiten[11]:
      Vill hen att du ska chansa, eller ta det lugnt?
      Do they want you to gamble or to take it easy?
    • 2015, Ami Sundeman, Anna Lytsy, Kosmosdialogerna[12]:
      Hens utgångspunkt är alltid större och mera allomfattande än så.
      Their starting point is always greater and more all-encompassing than that.
Usage notes edit
  • Although the word has gained common use, it is not nearly as common as the gendered words han and hon. From 2011 to 2020, usage of hen increased hundredfold in the media, but no increase was seen in 2021.[2] It has been especially popular among activists for gender equality and adherents of queer theory, and with the transgender community.[3] In 2022, usage of hen was ranked in shared first place alongside misspelling of words as the most annoying language phenomenon in a Swedish survey.[4] Publishers of manuals of style and the Swedish Language Council do not proscribe the usage of hen, but recommend the inflected forms hens as the possessive and hen over henom as the object.[5][6]

See also edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Old Norse hein, from Proto-Germanic *hainō.

Related to Norwegian and Icelandic hein (whetstone), Old English hān (stone, rock) and modern English hone. Further related to Sanskrit शाण (śāṇa) and Latin cōs with the same meaning. See also (dialectal) Swedish hena (to hone).[7]

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

hen c

  1. (archaic, dialectal) a whetstone, particularly the small and soft kind.
Declension edit
Declension of hen 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative hen henen henar henarna
Genitive hens henens henars henarnas
Synonyms edit
Related terms edit

References edit

  1. ^ Anders Q Björkman (8 March 2012), “”Hen” föreslogs av språkforskare redan 1994 – i SvD [”Hen” proposed by linguists already 1994 – in SvD]”, in Svenska Dagbladet[1], archived from the original on 2013-04-10
  2. ^ “Hen står still i svenska medier [hen is stagnant in Swedish media]”, in Språktidningen[2], Språktidningen, 18 January 2022, retrieved 18 January 2022
  3. ^ “”Jag vill vara hen – inte hon eller han” [”I want to be hen – not hon or han”]”, in Dagens Nyheter[3], 17 May 2011
  4. ^ “Särskrivningar och hen irriterar mest i svenskan [Splitting of compound words and hen causing most irritation in Swedish]”, in Språktidningen[4], Språktidningen, 25 April 2022, retrieved 26 January 2023
  5. ^ hen in Svenska Akademiens ordlista (SAOL)
  6. ^ “Hur använder man pronomenet hen? [How is the pronoun hen used?]”, in Aktuellt språkråd[5], Swedish Language Council, 25 August 2014, archived from the original on 2015-05-29
  7. ^ hen in Svenska Akademiens ordbok (SAOB)

Veps edit

Etymology edit

From Proto-Finnic *hëëno. Cognates include Finnish hieno.

Adjective edit

hen

  1. fine
  2. refined, elegant

Inflection edit

Inflection of hen (inflection type 1/ilo)
nominative sing. hen
genitive sing. henon
partitive sing. henod
partitive plur. henoid
singular plural
nominative hen henod
accusative henon henod
genitive henon henoiden
partitive henod henoid
essive-instructive henon henoin
translative henoks henoikš
inessive henos henoiš
elative henospäi henoišpäi
illative henoho henoihe
adessive henol henoil
ablative henolpäi henoilpäi
allative henole henoile
abessive henota henoita
comitative henonke henoidenke
prolative henodme henoidme
approximative I henonno henoidenno
approximative II henonnoks henoidennoks
egressive henonnopäi henoidennopäi
terminative I henohosai henoihesai
terminative II henolesai henoilesai
terminative III henossai
additive I henohopäi henoihepäi
additive II henolepäi henoilepäi

Derived terms edit

References edit

Vietnamese edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

Cognate with Kuy [Salavan] hɛːn ("to cough").

Noun edit

hen (𠻃, 𤹖)

  1. (pathology) (bệnh ~) asthma
    Synonyms: suyễn, hen suyễn
Derived terms edit
Derived terms

Verb edit

hen (𠻃, 𤹖)

  1. (North Central Vietnam) to cough

Etymology 2 edit

Particle edit

hen

  1. (Southern Vietnam) okay?; alright?

Welsh edit

Etymology edit

From Proto-Brythonic *hen, from Proto-Celtic *senos, from Proto-Indo-European *sénos.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

hen (feminine singular hen, plural henion, equative hyned, comparative hŷn or hynach or henach, superlative hynaf or henaf, not mutable)

  1. old, aged; ancient, antique, pristine, former; inveterate, chronic; original; senior, elder
  2. stale, mouldy, musty, fusty
  3. unreformed, old, traditional (of style or mode of expressing dates according to the Julian Calendar); reckoned according to the Old Style (of festival)

Usage notes edit

  • This adjective has an alternate, more “senior” comparative in the form of hŷn and an equivalent alternate superlative in the form of hynaf.
  • Unlike most Welsh adjectives, this word goes before the noun.
  • Like most Welsh adjectives that go before the noun, this word triggers a soft mutation in the word that follows it.

Derived terms edit

Yola edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English hen, from Old English henn, from Proto-West Germanic *hannju.

Noun edit

hen (plural henès or henes)

  1. hen
    Coordinate term: cuck
    • 1867, “CASTEALE CUDDE'S LAMENTATION”, in SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, number 4, page 104:
      Hea pryet ich mought na ha chicke or hen,
      He prayed I might not have chicken nor hen,

References edit

  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 46