No Spring Chicken

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This ubiquitous phrase refers, of course, to someone who is not young... someone who is quite old and often doesn't realise it is referred to in this way. See an older person with long, dyed hair and they might draw the comment "what's someone of her age doing with hair like that - she's no spring chicken!" or something similar.

What does the phrase mean? Well it would seem that we've always eaten chickens, and in the old days before we could command heat and light as well as we can now, people couldn't really keep chickens in the cold of Winter, and so there was a premium on the special spring chickens - anything that didn't meet up to these high standards and had aged was no spring chicken, as a result.

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