chicken [slang; Northern BE dialect]

gloriaa

Member
Polish
What could 'chicken' mean in slang, when it would not make sense if it meant 'coward'?

This is the context:
A group of 8 people, including me, have been given the task of preparing a presentation. We communicate through a WhatsApp group conversation. I said I will do my part this evening. One of the members replied: 'okay chicken.'
How should I take it?
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Was the person who sent the message a native English speaker? Does he speak AE or BE? Could it be a mistake when texting?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Nothing but "coward" comes to mind.

    But I will ask you a question. What is the single best source for an explanation of this usage?

    I will offer a hint: The member who wrote "Okay chicken". So I suggest you send that member a note and ask the same question. Let us know what he says.

    Just say, "I know what 'chicken' means, but I don't know what it means in this context. Could you explain?"
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Ewie's right: it's also used for children, and occasionally a generally friendly/familiar address to anyone - also "chick" and "chuck".
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Does this vague 'Northern England' mean Yorkshire? Or just anywhere north of Potter's Bar? Dialects or rather, local terms, vary. It sounds as if this 'chicken' is the equivalent of the Tyneside 'pet', a general term of endearment. I wouldn't advise using ''ey oop chicken' in Newcastle, not even in broad daylight.
    I see that it can also refer to a young man, especially a gay one.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Ewie's right: it's also used for children, and occasionally a generally friendly/familiar address to anyone - also "chick" and "chuck".
    Let's not forget that in parts of Scotland female friends are often addressed as hen.
     
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