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HEN, a female bird, especially the female of the common fowl ((?..) . The O. Eng. keen is the feminine form of hana, the male bird, a correlation of words which is represented in other Teutonic languages, cf. Ger. Hahn, Henne, Dutch haan, hen, Swed. hane, honne, etc. The O. Eng. name for the male bird has disappeared, its place being taken by " cock," a word probably of onomatopoeic origin, being from a base kuk- or kik-, seen also in " chicken." This word also appears in Fr. coq, and medieval Lat. coccus.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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