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Old 01-07-2012, 10:22 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
"Madder than a wet hen" is a common enough phrase and I've heard it all my life. But do hens really get upset when damp? Can any farmer folk attest to the ire produced by moistening egg-layers? Do fowl really turn foul when befouled?
I've never heard the phrase used like that. In British usage, calling someone a "wet hen" is to say that they are soppy, non-aggressive, and perhaps a little pathetic. Those who read Terry Pratchett will know that Magrat, the junior witch is often called a wet hen by her elders. Example

This makes sense. A hen is a stupid bird at best, and a wet hen especially pathetic.

Maybe "Madder than a wet hen" is an American attempt at irony.