from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A popular name of certain American snakes, as Coluber quadrivittatus and Ophibolus eximius.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In Texas they call a chicken-snake seven feet long a worm; but it would be just as reasonable to call the Rosse Telescope an opera-glass.
Just as I was leaning forward on my horse's neck to pass under the limb of a tree which stretched directly across the trail, when my face was not a foot away, I saw stretched along the branch a huge chicken-snake five or six feet in length.
Cutting the body open, I made the (to me) surprising discovery that it was viviparous -- I had thought all snakes were oviparous like the chicken-snake, and racer, and coach-whip.
The blacksnake and the chicken-snake, constrictors of near kin to the racer and the coach-whip, but not nearly so swift, are tree-climbers.