A chick with its head cut off (chicken)

earthstore

New Member
CHINESE
Hello

I just have one question as to the exact meaning of the above expression
' running like a chick(en) had its head cut off"

Does it mean busy or hands are full ?

Thanks in advance for any further reply
 
  • Aidanriley

    Senior Member
    English
    It means chaotically/frantically running around. It's mostly used in a situation where the person is extremely busy and had to run all over the place.

    I had to do so many errands today; I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hello

    I just have one question as to the exact meaning of the above expression
    ' running like a chick(en) had its head cut off"

    Does it mean busy or hands are full ?

    Thanks in advance for any further reply
    The literal meaning is nearly lost these days when few people, at least in the U.S., get their chicken from any place other than the local supermarket or Kentucky Fried Chicken, but back in the old days when a much larger percentage of the population lived on farms, they kept and slaughtered their own chickens by whacking off the heads.

    A chicken with its head lopped off will flop and run around erratically from residual muscle action (or whatever the term is). From this phenomenon comes the metaphor, which seems to be disappearing along with a predominantly rural population.

    As a side note, English contains many chicken-oriented metaphors, e.g. "don't count your chickens before they're hatched."
     
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