from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woman in charge of domestic fowl; sometimes used contemptuously about men.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A woman who has charge of poultry.


hen +‎ wife (Wiktionary)


  • Winnie was considered chief "henwife" at the Parsonage.

    The Youngest Girl in the Fifth A School Story

  • This was a half-witted lad, of very small stature, who had a kind of charge of the poultry under the old henwife; for in a Scottish family of that day there was a wonderful substitution of labour.

    Old Mortality

  • So next morning early, the queen said to Anne, "Go, my dear, to the henwife in the glen, and ask her for some eggs."

    English Fairy Tales

  • When she came to the henwife's she asked for eggs, as she had been told to do; the henwife said to her, "Lift the lid off that pot there and see."

    English Fairy Tales

  • So she went home to the queen and told her what the henwife had said.

    English Fairy Tales

  • So she took counsel of the henwife, who told her to send the lassie to her next morning fasting.

    English Fairy Tales

  • So they took pity on the poor Brownie, and asked the nearest henwife what they should do to send it away.

    English Fairy Tales

  • "Go home to your minnie and tell her to keep her larder door better locked," said the henwife.

    English Fairy Tales

  • "That's easy enough," said the henwife, and told them that a Brownie that's paid for its service, in aught that's not perishable, goes away at once.

    English Fairy Tales

  • Then the henwife was rare angry and said to Anne, "Tell your minnie the pot won't boil if the fire's away."

    English Fairy Tales


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