E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Chichivache (3 syl.).
French for the sorry cow, a monster that lived only on good womenall skin and bone, because its food was so extremely scarce. The old English romancers invented another monster, which they called Bicorn, as fat as the other was lean; but, luckily, he had for food good and enduring husbands, of which there is no lack. (See BICORN.)
O noble wyvës, ful of heigh prudence,
Let noon humilitie your tongës nayle,
Ne lat no clerk have cause of diligence
To write of you a story of such mervayle
As of Griseldes, pacient and kynde,
Lest Chichi-vache you swolwe in hir entraile.
Chaucer: LEnvoye de Chaucer, v. 9064.
The French chiche-face means thin-face. Lydgate wrote a poem entitled Bycorne and Chichevache.