chicken hawk

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 21 00:57:20 UTC 2010

At 4:08 PM -0500 12/20/10, Michael Newman wrote:
>That might be a little out of date now since "chicken" seems to have
>died away. It has been mostly displaced by "twink" as a term for
>really young gay guys.

Aren't there affective differences too?  i.e. "chicken" more likely
to be helpless, objects to be taken advantage of, than "twink"?
Somehow "twink hawk" doesn't really evoke the negative implications
of pedophilia that adhered to "chicken hawk", although I concede that
I'm judging off the top of my hat.  Anyway, "twink hawk" is
pre-empted by the eponymous hairstyle, i.e. a mohawk for twinks.  I
wouldn't think "chicken hawk" has a parallel reading...

>  However,  the connotations between the terms are a bit different.
>Chicken implied underage; whereas twinks can be older maybe up  to
>early 20s,

Right, that's additional support for the distinction I was getting at.


>but they are boyish looking and thin and relatively hairless.
>However, back in the day, I do remember, oh never mind.
>Michael Newman
>Associate Professor of Linguistics
>Queens College/CUNY
>michael.newman at
>On Dec 20, 2010, at 3:39 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>  Subject:      Re: chicken hawk
>>  At 9:05 PM +0100 12/20/10, Paul Frank wrote:
>>>  A surprising omission in the OED is "chicken hawk." The only
>>>  definition I can find is this: "chicken-hawk n. chiefly U.S. any of
>>>  various hawks that kill chickens."
>>>  The Wikipedia defines chickenhawk as "Chickenhawk (also chicken hawk
>>>  and chicken-hawk) is a political epithet used in the United States to
>>>  criticize a politician, bureaucrat, or commentator who strongly
>>>  supports a war or other military action, yet who actively avoided
>>>  military service when of age." The term has been around at least since
>>>  the 1980s.
>>  And there's also the rather different term of sexual art, for an
>>  adult male who "preys on" boys.  Rather more pejorative than "cougar".
>>  LH
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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