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    #1

    Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    Hi,

    Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common or Do I have to use "female sparrow" and "male sparrow"?

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    If one needs to talk about the gender of sparrows, then 'cock' and 'hen' are common enough.

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    #3

    Re: Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    Thank you.

    Should I also use "hen" and "cock" for "pigeon"?
    Should I also use a hyphen?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    Perhaps because I'm not much of a bird watcher or perhaps this is an American difference, but I've never heard that.

    Female sparrow, male cardinal, whatever. I've only ever used "male" or "female" (usually in relation to plumage).
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    Apparently so, according to this website.

    Honestly, I usually just use cock/hen with a few select birds such as pheasants (male also called 'rooster'), chickens (male is also called a rooster), guineas, and peafowl - primarily only those which are domesticated or hunted, where gender distinction is more important.

    Otherwise, with songbirds and such, I'd tend to just use male/female with most species of birds.

    Some birds have specific names for the male genders, although the female name is often just hen or the same as the type of bird it is.

    goose: male = gander, female = goose
    hawk: male = tiercel, female = hawk
    duck: male=drake, femal = duck
    turkey: young male = jake, mature male= tom or gobbler, female = hen
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    Hi,

    Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common or Do I have to use "female sparrow" and "male sparrow"?
    I've never heard those. Here in the US, cock and hen generally refer to chickens. And we call male chickens roosters more often than we call them cocks.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    Oh good! More fowl names to learn!

    (If I don't call a male hawk a "tiercel" will he get mad at me?)

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Oh good! More fowl names to learn!

    (If I don't call a male hawk a "tiercel" will he get mad at me?)
    Yes, unless he's hen-pecked.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #9

    Re: Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    Or if he's feeling a bit peckish.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  8. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Are "hen sparrow'' and ''cock sparrow" common

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    Or if he's feeling a bit peckish.
    Don't start a flap.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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