No Spring Chicken

Meaning of Idiom ‘No Spring Chicken’

A person who is no spring chicken is no longer young; someone who can no longer be considered youthful; an old person.


This idiom is more often used to describe women but may be used to describe men. Although it is usually humorous, it may be considered insulting or rude.

Although one possible definition of spring chicken is ‘a young person,’ this term is rarely used outside of the current idiom.

Examples Of Use

“How is your mother?” asked Gail. “Well, as you know, she’s no spring chicken anymore but she is still full of energy. She just joined a gardening club.”

“I’m no spring chicken but I still run five miles every day.”

No spring chicken idiom meaning


Early versions of this idiom, from the 1700s, leave out the word spring. Why chicken is used to allude to youth, and not being a chicken should indicate its lack, is unknown. Chickens do, however, have farily short lifespans and a spring chicken is a young chicken meant for food and originally available only in spring.

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