"the seed of a hardy leguminous vine," a well-known article of food, early or mid-17c., a false singular from Middle English pease (plural pesen), which was both single and collective (as wheat, corn) but the "s" sound was mistaken for the plural inflection. From Old English pise (West Saxon), piose (Mercian) "pea," from Late Latin pisa, variant of Latin pisum "pea," probably a loan-word from Greek pison "the pea," a word of unknown origin (Klein suggests it is from Thracian or Phrygian).
In Southern U.S. and the Caribbean, used of other legumes as well. Pea soup "soup made from peas" is recorded by 1711 (as pease-soup); the term was applied to London fogs at least since 1849. Pea-green as a hue resembling fresh peas is by 1752. Pea-shooter "toy consisting of a long straw or tube through which dried peas may be blown" is attested from 1803.
"the young of the domestic hen," also of some other birds, mid-14c., probably originally a shortening of chicken (n.).
Extended 14c. to human offspring, "person of tender years" (often in alliterative pairing chick and child) and thence used as a term of endearment. As slang for "young woman" it is first recorded 1927 (in "Elmer Gantry"), supposedly from African-American vernacular. In British use in this sense by c. 1940; popularized by Beatniks late 1950s (chicken in this sense is by 1860). Sometimes c. 1600-1900 chicken was taken as a plural, chick as a singular (compare child/children) for the domestic fowl.
"heavy coat generally worn by sailors in cold or stormy weather," 1721, a partial loan-translation of North Frisian pijekkat, from Dutch pijjekker, from pij "coarse woolen cloth" + jekker "jacket." Middle English had pee "coat of coarse, thick wool" (late 15c.). Related: Pea-coat.
also chick-pea, 1712, a false singular of chich-pease (1540s), earlier simply chich (late 14c.), cich, from Old French chiche "chick-pea" (13c.), from Latin cicer "pea," which is of uncertain origin, but with likely cognates in Greek kikerroi "pale," Armenian sisern "chick-pea," Albanian thjer "lentil." The Latin plural, cicera, is also the source of Italian cece and was borrowed into Old High German as chihhra (German Kichererbse).
The English word was altered after 17c. on the model of French pois chiche , and folk-etymologized as chick-. For second element, see pease.
"chick-pea," 1759 (from 1712 as garvanzo), from Spanish garbanzo, which is said to be ultimately from Greek or Basque.
"young girl," U.S. slang, c. 2002, from American Spanish chica "girl," fem. of chico "boy," noun use of adjective meaning "small" (here used as an affectionate term of address), from Latin ciccum, literally "chick-pea," figurative of a small thing or an object of little value (compare Old French chiche).
"peas collectively," Old English; see pea, of which this is the original form. Pease-porridge "a porridge made of pease meal" is from 1530s.