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Why are cowards referred to as 'chickens'?

Mystery Hour Question

Why are cowards referred to as chickens?
Matt, Leatherhead

Answer

**Definitive**
Name: Geoff, Durham
Qualification: Read it in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (You're not supposed to look things up on MH - but he was nice and James hadn't read out that disclaimer)
Answer: Young fowls are remarkably timid and run to the hen on the slightest alarm.

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