Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
CLOCKING HEN, n. comb. Used gen. in Sc. to denote a brood hen, but note the following fig. uses. [′klɔkɪn —, klɔkŋ —]
1. “A cant phrase for a woman past the time of child-bearing” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2). Known to Lnl.1, Kcb.1 1936.
If a bachelor be joked with a young woman, the answer frequently given is; “Na, na; if I marry, I'm for a clocking hen.” The reason of this peculiar use of the word . . . is said to be, that a hen never begins to hatch till she has given over laying, in as far at least as her present lochter [the eggs laid in one season] is concerned.
2. “Applied to a woman while bearing and rearing a family” (Abd., Bch. 1933 E. M. L. Douglas W.-L.; also Bnff.2, Slg.3 1936).
3. “A sum of money put out to interest in a bank” (Abd. 1905 E.D.D.Suppl.; also Bnff.2, Slg.3, Lnl.1, Kcb.1 1936).[From Clock, v., q.v.]
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Clocking hen n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Dec 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/clocking_hen>
Try an Advanced Search