Posted by R. Berg on September 08, 2005
In Reply to: Birds... posted by Brian from Shawnee on September 08, 2005
: : : : Hi. Does any one know anything about the origins of why in old sayings women are often refered to as bird's e.g. 'mother hen' 'hen party' 'Ducky' 'Chicken' etc....? Or where I could get some info from?
: : : Well, I don't know. But back in the old days, my mother and grandmother's day, women came together to work and socialize. They flocked together like hens. No offense intended.
: : Hey, ESC, did they have a pecking order? But seriously, why only "old saying"? SS
: And why only women? Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, after all. Men strut around like peacocks, crow like roosters, and the original Ugly Duckling was male. American Indian men adorn themselves with feathered headresses for ceremonies. And I can rattle off the following names of professional (male) sports teams without even thinking about it: Blue Jays, Orioles, Eagles, Falcons, Cardinals. Seems to me this business of referring to people as birds cuts across gender and cultural lines.
Seems to me, too. A misfit of either sex is an "odd duck." Someone might say of an eccentric man, "He's a queer old bird."