Discussion in 'English Only' started by Little_LIS, Aug 26, 2008.
What is the difference between "hen" and "chicken"?
Thanks in advance
A hen is an adult female chicken.
Is chicken a male?
But, do you mean that chicken is not adult?
Both Chicken and hen are females,right ?
Here's an explanation by way of analogy to human beings:
A chicken may be either male or female. A hen may only be an adult female. A young female chicken is called a "pullet."
'Chicken' can refer to any bird of that species, or any adult of that species, or just an adult female of that species (a hen). It depends on the context and the speaker.
'Hen' always refers to the adult female birds.
It was also the standard term when talking to a friend of the female sex, in the NE of England, or Glasgow, in my youth. It could also be used by women addressing a man, surprisingly enough.
Hen can refer to any female bird, although it's most commonly associated with domestic birds and particularly chickens. To take one spectacular example, the peacock is a male peafowl and the female is a peahen.
As gasman says, hen sometimes also refers to women - hence brides-to-be have a hen-night. One must, of course, be careful not to call the groom-to-be a cock - he has a stag-night (stag is an old word for male bird,although people now associate it with deer).
To complicate the issue, young hens are called pullets - not hens.
Young roosters are called cockerels.
Separate names with a comma.