Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Hen and Chickens

 Hen-pecked.Hen with one Chick. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Hen and Chickens
 
(in Christian art), emblematical of God’s providence. (See St. Matthew xxiii. 37.)   1
   A whistling maid and crowing hen is neither fit for God nor men. A whistling maid means a witch, who whistles like the Lapland witches to call up the winds; they were supposed to be in league with the devil. The crowing of a hen was supposed to forbode a death. The usual interpretation is that masculine qualities in females are undesirable.   2
 


 Hen-pecked.Hen with one Chick. 

 
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