mother hen

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A mother hen with chicks.





mother hen (plural mother hens)

  1. (literally) A female chicken who bears eggs or chicks.
  2. (idiomatic) An outspoken and overprotective woman or person dealing with others' affairs; especially, an assertive matriarch.
    • 2022 October 10, Jenna Scherer, “House Of The Dragon drops its best episode yet”, in AV Club[1]:
      Baela sends a letter by raven to her father Daemon spilling all the tea, and the news sends a now-pregnant Rhaenyra into mother-hen mode.







mother hen (third-person singular simple present mother hens, present participle mother henning, simple past and past participle mother henned)

  1. Alternative form of mother-hen
    • 1990, Diane Ehrensaft, Parenting Together: Men and Women Sharing the Care of Their Children:
      Instead, the very "mother henning" implicit in their choice of "nurturance" over "intimacy" was what the they thought uniquely characterized their relationship to their child.
    • 2010, T.M. Nielsen, Equites, page 541:
      He's mother henning and driving me crazy.
    • 2011, Suzanne Forster, Unfinished Business:
      That was probably why the girls mother henned her a bit and sometimes made her feel like the runt of the litter.

See also