Chicken Idioms


Chickens are domestic fowl used for meat and eggs. They live together in flocks and are social creatures.

Most chicken owners will tell you that it is not a good idea to have just one chicken because they seem to get depressed. Even just removing one chicken from a small chicken group is often enough to cause stress in chickens.

It is believed that chickens descend from the wild red junglefowl.

Chickens have a curious courtship ritual; they dance around a hen until they get a response (or no repsonse). If she responds to this dance, the rooster knows that he’s free to engage in mating.

There are only a few words in the English language that contain the word chicken, but there are a lot of idioms and proverbs involving the word chicken.

Chickens must do a certain amount of scratching around.

Idioms With the Word Chicken

Like chicken scratch: Handwriting that is so unreadable that it looks like scratches from chicken feet in the dirt. For example: I can’t make any of this out; it looks like chicken scratch. Or also: Timmy’s handwriting is like chicken scratch.

Chicken feed: Food that you give to chickens, usually a commercial layer ration.

Chicken out: The act of not doing something because of fear. Example: I gotta do this now before I chicken out.

Chicken shit: Having no courage.


Chickens come home to roost: Karma; this is a proverb used to explain to someone that your actions have consequences. Chickens usually spend the day looking for food before returning home to roost when the sun is setting.

Counting chickens before they hatch: The act of predicting a successful outcome before it actually happens. Usually used as a warning to prevent the person from being hurt by his or her incorrect assumptions.

Curses, like chickens, come home to roost: A proverb that implies that cursing someone is ineffective; you will only end up hurting yourself.

Getting up with the chickens: Waking up really early, at the same time that chickens get up. Example: Go to bed with the chickens, get up with the chickens–now that’s a healthy life.

Go to bed with the chickens: Going to bed really early, at the same that chickens go to sleep.

If it ain’t chickens, it’s feathers: There will always be problems in life because that is a fact of existence on Earth.

Like a chicken with the pip: To be in a weakened state. An example: You’re as healthy as a chicken with the pip.

Spring chicken: An informal way of saying “young person”. Can also be used to refer to a young chicken with tender meat.

Rubber chicken dinner: A dinner organized by a politician to get money. A simple example: Oh God, I’m not looking forward to dad’s next rubber chicken dinner.

You’re a chicken: Means that you’re a coward. For example: Why are you such a chicken? Just do it!

A chicken and egg situation: An impossible situation with no good answer. You need experience to get a job, and you need a job to get experience. It’s the ultimate chicken and egg situation.

A chicken in every pot: Another way of saying “prosperity for all”. For example: There will be a chicken in every pot and thousands of dollars in every bank account.

Chicken fillet: A special pad that makes women’s breasts seem larger than they really are. E.g.: I love her chicken-fillet breasts.

Chickened out: Ran away from something because of fear.

The key to everything is patience.

Chicken powder: Amphetamine in powder form. E.g.: Hey, hey, you wanna buy some chicken powder?

Chicken-hearted: Not brave. Example: What a chicken-hearted man.

Choke the chicken: Masturbation.

Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched: This is something you say to someone when you don’t want them to be disappointed. You are telling them not to get their hopes up because they don’t know what the final outcome is going to be. Life is unpredictable.

One day chicken and the next day feathers: One day you have something that you really want, and the next day you have something that you don’t want at all.

Running around like a chicken with its head cut off: To act in an aimless and careless way.

Wake up with the chickens: Same meaning as getting up with the chickens; waking up very early.

Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.

Words that start with Chicken

Chickenshit: A North American word used to tell someone that they have no courage, or that something (or someone) is insignificant. Example: Not asking the girl out on a date after six months is a chickenshit move. Another example: That is one chickenshit outfit right there buddy.

Chickening: The act of retreating from something due to fear. Usually used in combination with out, to form chickening out. A simple example: You’re chickening out, aren’t you? You’re terrified of climbing that mountain. Another example: I can’t have you chickening out from your duty.

Chickened: Same as above, but in the past. Example: I chickened out of asking my boss for a raise. Another example: It doesn’t matter. She’s chickened out anyway. One last example: They all chickened out and ran for cover as the bombs exploded all around them.