"chicken little"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Feb 15 16:20:25 UTC 2008

>In news reports about the Colorado town that's being threatened with
>an "avalanche" of toxic water, a local official is quoted: "We're
>not just crying 'chicken little' here."
>In the old story, it was Chicken Little (or Chicken Lickin') himself
>who did the "crying"--viz., "The sky is falling!" However, a Google
>search yields several hundred instances of the construction "cry
>'chicken little.'"

Nice.  I assume a strong influence from "cry wolf".  (Or "cry
Wolof".)  We can perhaps anticipate "cry Cassandra".  Oops, it's
already here:

At the risk of crying Cassandra, I must note that the cancerous
growth of population and diminishing resources means that...


>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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