Chicken Little, Chicken-Licken, Henny-Penny, Hen Pen and other characters

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 28 22:02:40 UTC 2010

I hear ~chikin rather than ~chikun at for the UK, USA ,and the speaker icon.  There are a lot of word endings with "-en", "-an", and "-on" that are pronounced ~in in English.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL7+ 
see phonetic spelling

> Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2010 12:02:28 -0500
> From: adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
> Subject: Chicken Little, Chicken-Licken, Henny-Penny, Hen Pen and other characters
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Chicken Little, Chicken-Licken, Henny-Penny, Hen Pen and other
> characters
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Ronald Butters wrote
> >> I am sorry to say that I stand corrected. This rarely happens to me, as
> >> you know. Are ytrpou sure it is not "Chicken Lichen"?
> >Robin Hamilton wrote
> > Pretty sure, though it's a time since I chased this, and I no longer have my
> > notes. If I remember correctly, the story begins in mid-nineteenth century
> > England, and migrates to America within a few years, where it is at first
> > the proper "Licken", rhyming with "Chicken". Then one variant introduces
> > the Chicken Little version, and this gains a life of its own.
> >
> > The original, if I remember correctly, emerges from the literate Victorian
> > fairy story tradition, rather than folk construction, so this should be
> > fairly easy to confirm.
> I investigated the character names in early versions of the “Chicken
> Little” tale in March 2010. But the results were incomplete, and I did
> not post at that time. Some early versions omit the character of
> Chicken Little or Chicken Licken entirely. Instead, the primary
> character is Henny-Penny.
> An important early edition by John Greene Chandler is in the Google
> Books archive but it is in “No Preview” mode, and thus it is not
> viewable. Indirect evidence about the character names is given below
> based on a web posting by John Cech, the Director of the Center for
> Children's Literature and Culture at the University of Florida.
> In my search, the character name Chicken Little appears in print
> before Chicken Licken. However, the existing textual databases are
> incomplete and printed texts imperfectly represent oral traditions.
> Fred Shapiro asked about "the antiquity of the story called ‘Chicken
> Little' or 'Chicken-licken' or 'Henny-Penny' and featuring the line
> 'the sky is falling' or something similar to that?" on the ADS list in
> 2005. Benjamin Zimmer, John Baker and others replied. Here is a link
> to an online collection of tales that was mentioned:
> Here are selected citations in chronological order. The results are
> still incomplete, but this might be useful to others.
> John Cech, a Children's Literature specialist a U. of Florida, says a
> printer from Roxbury, Massachusetts named John Greene Chandler created
> an early American edition of The Remarkable Story of Chicken Little.
> "He probably distributed his version of this well-known folk fable at
> a fair that was being held at Quincy Hall in Boston to raise the money
> necessary to finish the Bunker Hill Monument …"
> Cech gives a plot synopsis and the list of characters: "the chicken
> with the fatally over-active imagination and her equally gullible
> friends, Hen Pen, Duck Luck, Goose Loose, Turk Lurk and Drake who
> become the sly Fox Lox's dinner."
> Google Books contains a document titled "Remarkable story of Chicken
> Little" by John Greene Chandler dated 1840 but it cannot be examined
> because there is "No preview available". Editions in 1842, 1843, and
> 1844 are also in "no preview" mode.
> In January of 1844 the character Chicken Little is invoked to
> represent cowardice.
> Citation: 1844 January, Ladies' National Magazine, Kate Melburne by
> Frances S. Osgood, Page 24, C. J. Peterson. (Google Books full view)
> Reader, I am a coward - a coward in almost every sense of the word - I
> am afraid of horses cows, cats and dogs - of spiders, grass hoppers,
> wasps and devil's darning needles … I remind myself constantly of the
> immortal Chicken Little who disturbed a whole neighborhood by her
> foolish alarm.
> In July of 1844 an orator in Boston refers to Chicken Little and a falling sky.
> Citation: 1844 July 4, Oration Delivered in Boston: The Morals of
> Freedom by Peleg W. Chandler, Page 29, John H. Eastburn, City Printer,
> Boston. (Google Books full view)
> To hear their harangues on the eve of an election, one would suppose
> that the fable of Chicken Little was about to become a truth, and that
> the sky was actually falling; and so from the statements in party
> newspapers we often seem to be on the eve of a revolution; but the
> great mass of the people in reality take very little interest in the
> matter.
> A version of the tale was collected by Robert Chambers and published
> in 1847. This version does not mention Chicken Little or Chicken
> Licken. The main character is henny-penny, and a pea falls on her
> head. Robert Chambers also published earlier collections of rhymes,
> songs, ballads, poems, etcetera, but this is the first volume that I
> found containing the story of henny-penny.
> The character names are henny-penny, cocky-locky, ducky-daddles,
> goosie-poosie, and tod. The story ends when tod and "his young anes
> ate them a' up, and they never got to tell the king the lifts were
> faun."
> Citation: 1847, Select writings of Robert Chambers 3rd Edition, The
> Hen and Her Fellow Travellers, Page 211, Wiiliam and Robert Chambers,
> Edinburgh and London. (Google Books full view)
> A hen picking at a pease-stack, a pea fell on her head, and she
> thought the lifts were faun. And she thought she would go and tell the
> king about it. And she gaed, and gaed, and gaed; and she met a cock.
> And he said, 'Where are ye gaun the day, henny-penny?' And she says,
> 'I'm gaun to tell the king the lifts are faun.' And he says, 'I ll
> gang wi' ye, henny-penny And they gaed and they gaed, and they gaed;
> and they met a duck. And the duck says, 'Where are ye gaun the day,
> cocky-locky, henny-penny?'
> The name Chicken-licken is used in 1849 in a book of tales collected
> in England. The character names are: Chicken-licken, Hen-len,
> Cock-lock, Duck-luck, Drake-lake, Goose-loose, Gander-lander,
> Turkey-lurkey and Fox-lox.
> Citation: 1849, Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales by James Orchard
> Halliwell, The Story of Chicken Licken, Page 29, John Russell Smith,
> London.
> As Chicken-licken went one day to the wood, an acorn fell upon her
> poor bald pate, and she thought the sky had fallen.
> Wikipedia claims that the "basic motif and many of the elements of the
> tale can also be found within the Daddabha Jataka (J 322). The Jatakas
> comprise a large body of folklore dating from around Gautama Buddha's
> time (6th century BC) to the third century AD. However, this ancient
> version features a hare as the central character rather than a chicken
> …"
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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