Are you a chicken?
Would you eat a rubber chicken dinner?
What is the pecking order?
These are a few of the more than 37 idioms and phrases about chickens that we will take a closer look at in this post.
37 Chicken Idioms & Phrases (Meaning & Examples)
- Meaning: Someone who is afraid; a coward.
- Example in a sentence: Why are you being a chicken? There is nothing to be afraid of.
2. One’s Handwriting Like Chicken Scratch
- Meaning: used to describe when someone’s handing writing is very messy and difficult to read; illegible.
- Example in a sentence: I can’t read this, it just looks like a bunch of chicken scratch to me.
3. Like A Hen With One Chick
- Meaning: extremely anxious or overprotective person
- Example in a sentence: Who called you? It was my dad. He can be like a hen with one chick when I am not home before 9:00.
4. To Run Like A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off
- Meaning: To move or be running around in an uncontrolled way; to be in a hurry.
- Example in a sentence: When school let out, the children ran out like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.
5. Chicken Feed
- Meaning: A small amount of money.
- Example in a sentence: The tickets only cost me $10 dollars. Wow! That is chicken feed.
6. Chicken Out Of Something
- Meaning: to back out of something because of fear.
- Example in a sentence: After seeing the new rollercoaster, Mario chickened out and refused to go on the ride.
7. Fox In The Henhouse
- Meaning: a person with bad intentions. They are often trying to take advantage or exploit a situation for their benefit.
- Example in a sentence: I would keep an eye on him. He walks around like a fox in the henhouse.
- Meaning: to be cowardly
- Example in a sentence: I am not surprised he didn’t go on the ride, he is too chicken-hearted.
9. Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch
- Meaning: To make plans that might not happen.
- Example in a sentence: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, but I think we are going on vacation!
10. Hen Party
- Meaning: a social gathering for women.
- Example in a sentence: Steve thought it was an office party, but later he found out it was only going to be a hen party.
11. To Go To Bed With The Chickens
- Meaning: to go to bed early.
- Example in a sentence: My father-in-law always goes to bed with the chickens, even on vacation.
12. To Be No Spring Chicken
- Meaning: to no longer be young, usually used to describe older women.
- Example in a sentence: She is no spring chicken.
13. Rubber Chicken Dinner
- Meaning: a meal that is served at a large event and the food isn’t very good.
- Example in a sentence: I didn’t think the airplane food was very good. For me, it was nothing special. I agree, nothing, but a rubber chicken dinner if you ask me.
14. Hen Fruit
- Meaning: eggs
- Example in a sentence: It looks like it is just hen fruit and bacon for breakfast this morning.
15. To Wake Up With The Chickens
- Meaning: To wake up super early, usually before sunrise.
- Example in a sentence: I need to go to bed early tonight because I have to wake up with the chickens tomorrow.
16. Like A Chicken With A Pip
- Meaning: Someone who is weak or sickly.
- Example in a sentence: He has been walking around like a chicken with a pip. I think he should stay home from school tomorrow.
17. A Chicken And Egg Situation / Problem
- Meaning: a problem that is difficult to diagnose the problem. Usually when two things happen simultaneously and it is difficult to distinguish which one is the true cause of the problem.
- Example in a sentence: The problem broke down and the mechanic said it is a chicken and egg problem.
18. A Chicken In Every Pot
- Meaning: used to describe someone that is wealthy or prosperous.
- Example in a sentence: Because many people lost their jobs, I don’t think there will be a chicken in every pot.
19. If It Ain’t Chickens, It’s Feathers
- Meaning: there is always a problem.
- Example in a sentence: I just found out that my the water heater in my house needs to be replaced. Ever since we bought this house, there has been one problem after another. I guess, If it ain’t chickens, it’s feathers.
20. Chickens Come Home To Roost
- Meaning: a person will eventually reap the consequences of one’s actions.
- Example in a sentence: He didn’t even get in trouble for what he did. Well, remember that chickens always come home to roost, one day he will pay for what he did.
21. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
- Meaning: don’t risk everything hoping one venture will succeed.
- Example in a sentence: I told him not to put all his eggs in one basket, but he thinks this job is going to make him rich.
You may also enjoy reading: Idioms For Feeling Nervous (Examples & Definitions)
22. Cock Of The Walk
- Meaning: an arrogant person.
- Example in a sentence: Ever since he got that new promotion he has been the cock of the walk ordering people around.
23. Cock And Bull Story
- Meaning: a story that has been made up or significantly exaggerated.
- Example in a sentence: She told me that she was on vacation, but now she tells you that she was sick. I didn’t believe her cock and bull story for one second.
24. Eat Like A Bird
- Meaning: to eat very little.
- Example in a sentence: I think she is sick, she has been eating like a bird lately.
25. Fly The Coop
- Meaning: to escape or leave something.
- Example in a sentence: This is boring, let’s fly the coop and get a drink at Barry’s.
26. To Lay An Egg
- Meaning: to do something poorly or to give a bad performance.
- Example in a sentence: The musicians laid an egg in both performances over the weekend.
27. Pecking Order
- Meaning: the way people are ranked in relation to each other; hierarchy of a group
- Example in a sentence: Parking locations were decided on according to the company’s pecking order.
28. Scarcer Than Hen’s Teeth
- Meaning: very scarce, rare, or difficult to find.
- Example in a sentence: Finding hard-working people nowadays is scarcer than hen’s teeth.
29. Take (Someone) Under One’s Wings
- Meaning: to bring someone under their protection and care
- Example in a sentence: She decided to take him under her wings and teach him how to be a better person.
30. To Sneak The Sunrise Past A Rooster
- Meaning: to do something that is nearly impossible or at least very difficult to do.
- Example in a sentence: Getting him to go with us is like sneaking the sunrise past a rooster.
31. Wing It
- Meaning: to try your best even though you haven’t had much time to prepare; to improvise.
- Example in a sentence: Have you given a speech before? No, but I am just going to wing it. It can’t be that difficult.
32. As Mad As A Wet Hen
- Meaning: to be extremely mad or angry with someone.
- Example in a sentence: I just hung up the phone because she was as mad as a wet hen and wouldn’t talk to me.
33. One’s Rooster
- Meaning: buttocks
- Example in a sentence: Get off your rooster and do something!
34. To Henpeck Someone
- Meaning: a man that is often dominated, bullied, or picked on by a woman, usually his wife or girlfriend.
- Example in a sentence: He used to be a fun guy, but ever since he married Susan he has become henpecked.
35. Don’t Let The Fox Guard The HenHouse
- Meaning: giving an opportunity to someone who is only going to try to take advantage of the situation.
- Example in a sentence: You are promoting John? I don’t want to tell you what to do, but don’t let the fox guard the henhouse.
36. Mother Hen
- Meaning: someone that is overprotective.
- Example in a sentence: Usually it doesn’t bother my mom, but at times she can be a bit of a mother hen about who I spend time with on the weekends.
37. He That Would Have Eggs Must Endure The Cackling Of Hens
- Meaning: In order to get what you want, you need to be willing to ensure an unpleasant or uncomfortable situation.
There you have it, 37 chicken idioms. Which one is your favorite?
If you enjoy this post, you may also enjoy our Idiom Of The Day page. There we post a different idiom every day. Check it out!