|1.||the female of any bird, esp the adult female of the domestic fowl|
|2.||the female of certain other animals, such as the lobster|
|3.||informal a woman regarded as gossipy or foolish|
|4.||dialect (Scot) a term of address (often affectionate), used to women and girls|
|5.||scarce as hen's teeth extremely rare|
|[Old English henn; related to Old High German henna, Old Frisian henne]|
"The henpect Man rides behind his Wife, and lets her wear the Spurs and govern the Reins." [Samuel Butler]
common in later times among the Jews in Palestine (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34). It is noticeable that this familiar bird is only mentioned in these passages in connection with our Lord's lamentation over the impenitence of Jerusalem.
see mad as a hornet (wet hen); scarce as hen's teeth.