Most Important Level 4

"to be a chicken" / "Chicken!"

Meaning: a person who is not brave; a person who is scared to do something or scared of everything

Similar Expressions
  • Mark is a chicken.
  • Mark is a scaredy-cat.
  • Mark is a coward.
  • Mark is scared.
  • Mark is afraid.
  • Mark is not brave.
When do we use it?

We use this when a person is not acting in a brave way, and we want to shame the person into doing something.
  • Come on, chicken! Jump! Jump!
  • Don't be a chicken! Try it!
It is possible to use this expression to talk about a person's character, but it is not as common as using it to shame somebody.
  • Ben is scared of everything. He is a chicken.
  • He is always a chicken.
How do we use it?

We often use this expression after a "be verb", in a command, or as a name.
  • She is a chicken. She won't do it.
  • Don't be a chicken it. Come on.
  • Hey, chicken! Come on. Don't be afraid.
Example English Conversation

A) I don't want to go cliff jumping. It's dangerous.
B) Don't be a chicken. It will be fun.

It is important that you know English expressions and idioms if you want to have fluent English conversations with native English speakers or other advanced English speakers. Do not try to learn many expressions and idioms at one time. Instead, study a few of these free English lessons each week and learn English expressions and words well. This will help your English vocabulary improve steadily, and you will start speaking English like a native speaker.