If you’re like most people, you run across a handful of sayings each and
every day. “A stitch in time saves nine.” “A penny saved is a penny earned.” You know, that sort of thing.
But it’s somewhat interesting to note that chickens pop up quite a bit in popular idioms. Here are just a
Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They’ve Hatched:
Mothers love to dispense wisdom, and if there’s one bit of advice they love to give, it’s “don’t be stupid,”
or more specifically, “Don’t get ahead of yourself.” Counting your chickens before they’ve hatched simply means
it’s unwise to assume something before knowing the facts, similar to “It’s too good to be true.” Planning on a
handful of chickens from a single clutch isn’t a perfect science as some chicks won’t hatch while others won’t
make it to full adulthood. Therefore, don’t plan on the size of your flock until you can accurately count
Like a Chicken With Its Head Cut Off:
Something about random flailing generally brings this one out, though I’d argue that your actions and the
typical response from a beheaded chicken are completely different. Basically, acting like a chicken with its
head cut off implies that you’re making very little sense to the point of hysterics, usually with a lot of
spastic body movements. However, it should be noted that some chickens have been reported as living quite a
long time after having their heads cut off. Then again it’s most common for a headless chicken to just simply
That’s a Cock and Bull Story:
Why exactly a cock and a bull can’t be trusted is a bit odd, but the gist is that a cock and bull story is
something completely full of lies. Some believe the origin of the saying comes from a pair of prominent inns
that meet on the same street, but that, sadly, is also a cock and bull story.
He’s Pretty Cock-Sure:
Roosters are very passionate animals, typically showing no fear even in the face of something they very much
should. When someone is cock-sure, it means that they will not back down in the face of anything, or that
they’re just plain stubborn. Either way, there are worse things than being cock-sure, such as…
Stop Being a Chicken:
I’d much rather be cock-sure about a cock and bull story than to be a chicken. “To be a chicken” is to be
afraid of something, usually something that you shouldn’t be afraid of like trying a new delicacy or raising
chickens of your very own. Why exactly chickens have been associated with fear, particularly when the male of
the species has already demonstrated that they’re synonymous with bravery and strong-headedness, it yet another
Chickens have permeated our language and taken hold of quite a few of our sayings, but this fascination with
the silly birds doesn’t really make much sense, does it? Either way, it’s pretty clear that chickens will be
staying with us for a very long time indeed.
Chickens as Pets?
Chickens and Religion
Are You Raising a Cockatrice?
Simple Chicken Recipes
5 Excellent Egg Recipes
Fiction Fowls: The Good, The
Bad, and The Chicken
Naming Your Dinner
Top 5 Long-Lived Chickens
Why Does the Rooster Crow?
How Smart Are Chickens?
Other Farming Fowl
Gonzo and Camilla
Chickens In Common Sayings
Is Chicken Healthier Than Other Meat?
Strange Chicken Anatomy
Chickens Through History
Avoiding Salmonella in Chickens
The History and Legacy of Cockfighting