Bird/Chick (when referring to a female)

I’m afraid that I have failed you all, for I was unable to find any solid history behind the reasons why a female might be referred to as a bird or a chick. It was suggested by one source that the description fits because women are ‘flighty’. Another proposed that a man might refer to a woman as a bird because he ‘wants her to see his pecker’.

These worthy explanations aside, a possible alternative could be that the English ‘chick’ has derived from the Spanish word for a girl, which is ‘chica’. The step onto bird is easy to see from this position.

Not wanting to accept that the Queen’s language might have been sullied in this manner (joke) I turned elsewhere for answers. In my reading I found that in 1400’s Europe prostitutes were referred to as ‘chicks’ because they were considered in essence to be of that same class of animal. If this is indeed the correct origin, which I suspect it might be, by calling a woman a chick you are essentially calling her a whore. Just as well I don’t, then.



Filed under Idioms & Their Origins

2 responses to “Bird/Chick (when referring to a female)

  1. hahahaha…I shall remember the whore reference, and throw it out, at the most delicious moment for impact, although I am more often on the receipt of ‘babe’; any further depth, beyond the swaddling ones, on that signifier would be much appreciated…Thank you for your visit, and comment earlier, I thought I would just have a stroll around: & I find an interesting, and expansive blog (mine is an empty silence in comparision)..purple is by far the most noble colour, the passion of red & serenity of blue, the diginity of oppositions held in perpectual balance, neither lost in the hot-cold eternal communication between the two, but elevated; and overhead lighting is an offence to really…hmm you wrote two words on my blog, & I’m being silly on yours, so I shall stop it …I wonder if you wander the corridors of twitter…Kerryann

    • I hate ‘babe’ and will look into it, if only that you might use the information to smite would-be suitors.
      I love the delicacy with which you describe purple, surely, as you say, the most noble of all the colours.
      Have no fears whatsoever on the rambling front – it is nice to see.

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