[Mgs] Origin of speckled hen?

David Breneman david_breneman at yahoo.com
Wed May 4 07:47:25 MDT 2011

--- On Wed, 5/4/11, Paul Hunt <paul.hunt1 at blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

> Makes no difference, it was the 'hen'
> part I was questioning.

Me, too.  I didn't want to add to the confusion.  The
first time I heard "Ol' Speckled 'Un" was in the literature
for the beer, so I assumed that "'un" was a colloquial
pronunciation for "hen", since I had heard "Old Speckled
Hen" years before the beer came out.  "Old speckled one"
makes no sense without the definite article "the", but
"Old Speckled Hen" refers to a well-known fairy tale,
and so it make much more sense as a nickname.  That was
the gist of my inquiry.  All this rationalizing doesn't
make it the proper etymology of the phrase, but it
explains my surprise at hearing "Old Speckled ONE" for
the first time, here.

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