Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various breeds of very small domestic fowl that are often miniatures of members of larger breeds.
  • n. A small but aggressive and spirited person.
  • adj. Diminutive; miniature.
  • adj. Aggressive and spirited.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any of several small chickens, especially one that is a miniature version of another
  • adj. small or miniature
  • adj. spirited or aggressive

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A variety of small barnyard fowl, with feathered legs, probably brought from Bantam, a district of Java.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A general name for a number of varieties of the common hen possessing the characteristic of very diminutive size.
  • n. Same as Bantam-work.
  • Pertaining to or resembling the bantam; of the breed of the bantam; hence, diminutive; puny; absurdly combative, or fussy and consequential.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various small breeds of fowl
  • adj. very small

Etymologies

After Bantam, former town in Indonesia from which such fowl were thought to have originated.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dutch Bantam (a city in Java) (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • reminds me of my friend! haha :)

    October 5, 2011

  • bantam. has a nice ring to it. never would have guessed it meant small but aggressive.

    September 28, 2011

  • such a good synonym for small!

    April 5, 2010

  • I rented that film some time ago, elgiad. It's hilarious. Produced by the same people who brought us Cane Toads: An Unnatural History. :-)

    November 10, 2008

  • Wow. You're right, oroboros.

    November 9, 2008

  • Looking at those pix of silkies put me in mind of Al Capp's Shmoos. I wonder if there's any connection somehow?

    November 9, 2008

  • Here is the first part of an interesting (and some parts hilarious) program on chickens, including silkie banties. The show is divided into six parts, all of which are available on YouTube.

    Please note that none of my chickens live in the house or wear diapers, and I have never attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation on any of my birds that turned up dead.

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/NkxO91TLKVg&hl=en&fs=1"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/NkxO91TLKVg&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    November 8, 2008

  • *ditto on the fowl envy*

    November 8, 2008

  • *having an extreme case of fowl envy*

    November 7, 2008

  • Dontcry, you'd love my backyard flock. I have four roosters, each of which has their own sound, anywhere from a high-pitched screech (the Porcelain Bantam) to a raspy, boorish sounding crow (the standard red rooster). Combined with duck calls (which are quite loud), hen clucks, and pigeon coos, they certainly make a lively chorus in the morning.

    November 7, 2008

  • The hen house at the fair each year is my favorite place! I just love watching all those different chickens and roosters. Some of them look like they're dressed to the nines for an evening on the town! The crowing makes me giggle every single time...

    November 6, 2008

  • I was a bit skeptical myself regarding the quality of eggs produced by hand-raised hens until I had them for myself.

    The key is to let them eat all the things they would find if they lived in the wild; grass, beetles, worms, etc. My chickens love June bug season. The resulting eggs have a more flavorful and darker colored yolk. Bantam eggs are very good although, as you may have guessed, they can be half the size (or smaller) of a standard chicken egg.

    November 6, 2008

  • You must have some delicious eggs, elgiad. I had a friend who had a setup similar to yours and she once sent me samples. They were nothing like the store-bought type.

    Sounds like quite a menagerie, too. Oh, wouldn't I love to have such an avian wonderland in my backyard--but alas, I'd be tossed out of the neighborhood on my ear.

    November 6, 2008

  • In fact, here is a link to a collection of images of some fine silky specimens.

    November 6, 2008

  • I noticed that. An image search on Google yields results that include chickens.

    November 6, 2008

  • The "image search" link on this page brings up something interesting: lots of sports teams, not so many chickens. (But the ones that are there are really pretty.)

    November 6, 2008

  • I raise them for their eggs, and they do make great pets if you have the means to keep them. Mine is a flock of mixed breeds which keeps things interesting since each breed boasts it's own unique characteristics and each bird it's own personality. I also have a couple of albino pigeons and a pair of snowy ducks, but they, while being pleasing to the eye, are not nearly as interesting as the chickens.

    I used to have an albino rabbit living in the hen house. However, their cohabitation, as I explained earlier in this comment thread, was not conducive to the well being of the hens (even the ones that weren't white and fluffy).

    November 6, 2008

  • Elgiad, you raise chickens? Or they're just pets?

    November 5, 2008

  • I have been to Bantam (Banten). It remains passingly pleasant, though the has coastline moved from the heart of the town.

    November 5, 2008

  • Ugh! See also tuna of the yard.

    November 5, 2008

  • I have a few breeds of bantam (or banty) chickens in my backyard flock. The most interesting looking ones are the white silkies, which look like the offspring of rabbits and chickens (bright white and fluffy feathers).

    In fact, if you happen to have a white rabbit living around the farm, you may soon find it and your silky hen engaged in some rather frantic interspecific relations (an image not easily purged from the mind).

    November 5, 2008


  • Allie, call the birds in,
    The birds from the sky!
    Allie calls, Allie sings,
    Down they all fly:
    First there came
    Two white doves,
    Then a sparrow from his nest,
    Then a clucking bantam hen,
    Then a robin red-breast.

    - Robert Graves, 'Allie'.

    November 3, 2008

  • The nickname (in the plural) of the South African definitive stamp series of 1942-43. Wartime economy measures required that stamps be made smaller than usual to conserve paper.

    August 25, 2008