Date: Thu, 19 May 1994 16:21:54 -0700 From: "Joseph B. Monda" Subject: Re: Spring chicken AS I recall my poultry days, a hen can lay eggs without their being fertile. And I don't know whether a pullet will breed without having been bred to a cock. It was my impression that a brooding hen is a setting hen, or one that wished to be such. But this goes back to my boyhood on the farm, and what did I know about life then. I know nothing --fortunately-- about virgin sows, but I think there is a word for an unbred female pig: "gilt." On Thu, 19 May 1994, David Prager Branner wrote: > Many people have suggested "pullet" for 'young "virgin" hen', > which is not exactly the word I had in mind. A hen can be a pullet even > after she begins laying; I am looking for a word meaning a hen that has > not yet begun brooding. > There is a Chinese word for this that is very important in > dialectology, but I have never found a way to express it in English except > with a long explanation. Chinese value this kind of bird because it is > extremely tasty - actually, I have never eaten this kind of meat in the > United States, only in China. My informants there say that it is not the > laying of eggs but brooding that causes the taste of the meat to change. > Since "spring chickens" are famous in the West for their fine taste (which > I have never sampled, to my sorrow), it seemed to me that this might be a > closer word than "pullet". But a spring chicken can be male, too, can't > it? > > How about a word for a "virgin" sow? Is there such a word in > English? It is faily common in the Hakka areas of Fwujiann. > > David Prager Branner > Asian Languages and Literature > University of Washington, DO-21 > Seattle, WA 98195 > > >