Etymology
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chick (n.)

"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.

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chickweed (n.)

late 14c., chekwede, applied to various plants eaten by chickens, from chick + weed (n.). In Old English such plants were cicene mete "chicken food."

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bird (n.2)
"maiden, young girl; woman of noble birth, damsel, lady, lady in waiting," also "the Virgin Mary," c. 1200, perhaps a variant of birth (n.) "birth, lineage," confused with burd and bride (q.q.v.), but felt by later writers as a figurative use of bird (n.1), which originally meant "young bird" and sometimes in Middle English was extended to the young of other animals and humans. In later Middle English bird (n.2) largely was confined to alliterative poetry and to alliterative phrases. Modern slang meaning "young woman" is from 1915, and probably arose independently of the older word (compare slang use of chick).
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chickpea (n.)

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.

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chicken pox (n.)

c. 1730, from chicken (n.) + pox. Perhaps so called for its mildness compared to smallpox [Barnhart], or its generally appearing in children, or its resemblance to chick-peas.

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hummus (n.)
Middle Eastern dish, 1955, from Turkish humus "mashed chick peas."
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garbanzo (n.)

"chick-pea," 1759 (from 1712 as garvanzo), from Spanish garbanzo, which is said to be ultimately from Greek or Basque.

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peep (n.2)

"a short chirp, the cry of a mouse or young chick or other small bird," mid-15c., from peep (v.2); meaning "slightest sound or utterance" (usually in a negative context) is attested by 1903. Meaning "young chicken" is from 1680s. The marshmallow peeps confection are said to date from the 1950s.

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chica (n.)

"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).

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chicken (n.)

Old English cicen (plural cicenu) "young of the domestic hen, the young of any bird;" by early Middle English, "any chicken," regardless of age, from Proto-Germanic *kiukinam (source also of Middle Dutch kiekijen, Dutch kieken, Old Norse kjuklingr, Swedish kyckling, German Küken "chicken"), from root *keuk- (echoic of the bird's sound and possibly also the root of cock (n.1)) + diminutive suffixes. By regular sound changes it should have become Modern English *chichen; the reason it didn't is unknown.

 Generic words for "chicken" in Indo-European tend to be extended uses of "hen" words, as hens are more numerous than cocks among domestic fowl, but occasionally they are from words for the young, as in English and in Latin (pullus). Meaning "one who is cowardly or timorous" is from 1610s; adjectival sense of "cowardly" is at least as old as 14c. (compare hen-herte "a chicken-hearted person," mid-15c.). As the name of a game of danger to test courage, it is first recorded 1953.

Chicken-feed "paltry sum of money" is by 1897, American English slang; literal use (it is made from the from lowest quality of grain) is by 1834. Chicken lobster "small lobster," is by 1947, American English, apparently from chicken in its sense of "young." To count (one's) chickens before they hatch "anticipate too confidently the obtaining or doing of something" is from 1570s. Chicken-fried steak (1937) is a U.S. Southern recipe that batters, breads, and fries a thin strip of steak in the way fried chicken typically is made.

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