"dick" not also meaning "male chicken"/"rooster"?


I just had an argument with a friend of mine: Until now I was convinced that the word "dick" - next to being a common vulgar slang term for "penis" and being used in a wide variety of vulgar insults - originally means "male chicken"/"rooster"/"cock", or that it could at least also mean that.

My buddy (also a German native speaker) answered back that he never heard of that meaning, so we looked it up, and indeed we couldn't find anything pointing towards the meaning "rooster", "chicken" or "cock".

I'm sure I read/learned this somewhere a long time ago - am I just remembering this wrong or is this meaning maybe so archaic that it isn't mentioned anywhere, because it isn't commonly used anymore?
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Well, my Kansas grandmother never called any of her roosters Dick ... and my father managed farms all his life and I often tagged along and I've never heard anyone say that. But perhaps some etymologist will come to your rescue.

    I can, of course, see how rooster --> cock --> dick. But I would expect that would be a low form of humor.

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    It's not impossible but the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary only gives the term "dicky(-bird)" meaning bird, in childish language or slang (including Cockney back-slang for "word").


    Moderate Mod
    We can use "penis" here. :) Just because cock means penis means dick doesn't mean that dick means rooster.
    Exactly. I guess it's not impossible, but I've never heard it, and I think if it were even slightly common (at least in the U.S.), I would have. I write about agriculture for a living, so I do spend some time around people who talk about chickens.

    Of course, anything's possible as a joke. But I am confident that there are no chicken farmers out here in Middle America who routinely refer to their roosters as "dicks."
    I'm aware that "cock" and "dick" are both used as vulgar terms for "penis", the point is that I thought both words also meant "rooster", which is only the case for "cock".

    Well, it seems I just remembered something wrong or indeed misunderstood some kind of "cock-dick-penis" pun.

    Thank you for all the answers!
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