chicken


chicken
chicken (n.) O.E. cicen "young fowl," which in M.E. came to mean "young chicken," then any chicken, from W.Gmc. *kiukinam (Cf. M.Du. kiekijen, Du. kieken, O.N. kjuklingr, Swed. kyckling, Ger. Küken "chicken"), from root *keuk- (echoic of the bird's sound and possibly also the root of cock (n.1)) + dim. suffixes. Adjective sense of "cowardly" is at least as old as 14c. (Cf. hen-herte “a chicken-hearted person,” mid-15c.); the verb meaning "to back down or fail through cowardice" is from 1943, U.S. slang; as a game of danger to test courage, it is first recorded 1953. Chicken feed "paltry sum of money" is from 1904. Chicken lobster "young lobster," is from c.1960s, Amer.Eng., apparently from chicken in its sense of "young."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • chicken — [chik′ən] n. [ME chicken < OE cycen < WGmc * kiukina < * kiuk ; like COCK1, of echoic orig.; akin to MLowG kûken (Du kuiken, kieken)] 1. a common gallinaceous farm bird (Gallus domesticus) raised for its edible eggs or flesh; hen or… …   English World dictionary

  • chicken — ► NOUN 1) a domestic fowl kept for its eggs or meat, especially a young one. 2) a coward. 3) informal a game in which the first person to lose their nerve and withdraw from a dangerous situation is the loser. ► ADJECTIVE informal ▪ cowardly. ►… …   English terms dictionary

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  • Chicken — Chick en, n. [AS. cicen, cyceun, dim. of coc cock; akin to LG. kiken, k[ u]ken, D. Kieken, kuiken, G. k[ u]chkein. See {Cock} the animal.] 1. A young bird or fowl, esp. a young barnyard fowl. [1913 Webster] 2. A young person; a child; esp. a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Chicken — Chicken, AK U.S. Census Designated Place in Alaska Population (2000): 17 Housing Units (2000): 21 Land area (2000): 115.411025 sq. miles (298.913169 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 115.411025 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Chicken, AK — U.S. Census Designated Place in Alaska Population (2000): 17 Housing Units (2000): 21 Land area (2000): 115.411025 sq. miles (298.913169 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 115.411025 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • chicken — chicken. См. chicken. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

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