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See also: Chick


A baby chicken (chick), Gallus gallus domesticus

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English chicke, chike(Can this(+) etymology be sourced?), variation of chiken (chicken", also "chick), from Old English ċicen, ċycen (chicken). Sense of "young woman" dates to at least 1860 (compare chit (young, pert woman))(Can this(+) etymology be sourced?). More at chicken.


  • IPA(key): /t͡ʃɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪk


chick (plural chicks or (obsolete) chicken)

  1. A young bird.
    Synonym: fledgling
    Coordinate term: birdlet
    • 2023 August 24, Pádraig Hoare, “90% of emperor penguin colonies doomed to extinction by century's end”, in Irish Examiner[1]:
      Published in the Communications Earth & Environment journal, scientists conclude that due to sea ice loss last year, it is highly probable that no chicks had survived from four of the five known emperor penguin colonies in the central and eastern Bellingshausen Sea in Antarctica.
  2. A young chicken.
  3. (dated, endearing) A young child.
  4. (chiefly US, Canada, Australia, colloquial, somewhat derogatory) A young, typically attractive, woman or teenage girl.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:girl, Thesaurus:woman
    They're going to have a chick weekend. No guys allowed.
    He'll fall for any chick with a nice smile.
    • 1860, Joseph Verey, Tinsel and Gold: A Fireside Story, London: James Blackwood, page 155:
      "I thought you had some common sense, Frank," said Uncle John; "but I see you are as great a fool as all the rest. Marry, indeed! A pretty chick to marry!"
    • 1927, Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry:
      He had determined that marriage now would cramp his advancement in the church and that, anyway, he didn't want to marry this brainless little fluffy chick, who would be of no help in impressing rich parishioners.
    • 1958, Jerry Leiber; Mike Stoller (lyrics and music), “Three Cool Cats”:
      Three cool chicks / Are walking down the street / Swinging their hips
    • 1970, Gimme Shelter (motion picture), Mick Jagger (actor):
      Good. It's nice to have a chick occasionally.
    • 2004, Tess Pendergrass, Bad moon rising:
      I can't believe you've got a hot chick in that ratty apartment with you.
  5. (military, slang) A friendly fighter aircraft.
    • 2004, Joe Welzen, The Gutsy Stomach Walker, page 50:
      The Aldis lamp flashes at the underside of each aircraft. It shows that the gear is down. Diegal is relaxing. This is such low responsibility, easy night duty. All the “chicks” (fighter aircraft) are home to roost except one.
Derived terms[edit]


chick (third-person singular simple present chicks, present participle chicking, simple past and past participle chicked)

  1. (obsolete) To sprout, as seed does in the ground; to vegetate.
    • 1795, William Marshall, The Rural Economy of Norfolk:
      plowing in his oats with a very feet furrow; and, after they have “chicked” but before they appear aboveground
  2. To compress the lips and then separate them quickly, resulting in a percussive noise.
    • 1844, James Ballantine, The Miller of Deanhaugh:
      He chicked his lips; he cracked his whip; he winked with a knowing leer; he ran down the alley and up the stair, then down the stair and up the alley

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from Hindustani چق(ciq) / चिक (cik), ultimately from Persian چق(čeq).


chick (plural chicks)

  1. (India, Pakistan) A screen or blind made of finely slit bamboo and twine, hung in doorways or windows.
    • 1890, Rudyard Kipling, Letter to William Canton, 5 April, 1890, in Sandra Kemp and Lisa Lewis (eds.) Writings on writing by Rudyard Kipling, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 34, [2]
      Then, through a cautiously lifted chick, the old scene stands revealed []
    • 1905, A. C. Newcombe, chapter VII, in Village, Town, and Jungle Life in India[3], Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, page 106:
      It is not uncommon at meal-time to see the table servants chasing the sparrows about the room, endeavouring to drive them out while some one holds up the "chick" or bamboo net which covers the doorway.
    • 1934 October, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], “Chapter 2”, in Burmese Days, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, →OCLC:
      [] at this time of day all the verandas were curtained with green bamboo chicks.
    • 1999, Kevin Rushby, chapter 10, in Chasing the Mountain of Light: Across India on the Trail of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond, New York: St. Martin's Press, page 216:
      Outside I could hear the bamboo chick tapping on the door like a blind man's stick on a kerbstone.
Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English chike, from Old English ċicen. Cognate with English chick, and Scots schik.


chick (plural chickès)

  1. chicken


  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 30