1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hen
HEN, a female bird, especially the female of the common fowl (q.v.). The O. Eng. hæn is the feminine form of hana, the male bird, a correlation of words which is represented in other Teutonic languages, cf. Ger. Hahn, Henne, Dutch haan, hen, Swed. hane, hönne, &c. The O. Eng. name for the male bird has disappeared, its place being taken by “cock,” a word probably of onomatopoeic origin, being from a base kuk- or kik-, seen also in “chicken.” This word also appears in Fr. coq, and medieval Lat. coccus.