A whistling woman and a crowing hen...

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on March 17, 2007

In Reply to: A whistling woman and a crowing hen... posted by c.melmurray on March 17, 2007

: Where does the phrase "A whistling woman and a crowing hen are neither fit for God nor men" originate? Exactly what does it mean and old how it it? Thanks for your help.

It means that these are traditionally considered unnatural and improper activities for females, and that females who perform them are unnatural and ill-omened. The earliest recorded version of this proverb is Scottish, and dates from 1721: "A crooning cow, a crowing Hen and a whistling Maid boded never luck to a house" ("Complete Collection of Scottish Proverbs, Explained and made Intelligible to the English Reader", by J Kelly.) (VSD)