Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

like a chicken with its head cut off

like a chicken with its head cut off

Meaning

  • act in a frenzied manner
  • behave in a distracted, crazy way
  • in a frantic and disorganized manner
  • be in a frenzy
  • act in a haphazard or aimless way
  • not be in control

Example Sentences

  1. Does he know how to handle the situation? He has been running around all morning like a chicken with its head cut off.
  2. He ran around the place looking for his missing bags like a chicken with its head cut off.
  3. When she realized that the child was not with her, she ran around looking for him like a chicken with its head cut off.
  4. He does not know what to do. He has been running around like a chicken with its head cut off all day.
  5. When he realized that he was being removed from his position, he started running around the building like a chicken with its head cut off.
  6. When he lost the match, he ran all over the ground like a chicken with its head cut off, venting his anger on anything he could get hold of.

Origin
This phrase literally refers to to decapitated chicken or poultry, which have been known to twitch and even stagger around for a few minutes after having their heads cut off. It was known in the USA by the late 19th century, with an early print recording being in July, 18802 from The Atlanta Constitution.

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1 Comment

  • Expression: Lawrence writes on 22 October, 2016

    Never heard “like a chicken with its head cut off” – I have heard “like a headless chicken” though.

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