Inspired by this question, what are are the feminine and gender-neutral equivalents of a ‘henpecked husband’?
Would it be correct to say ‘cockpecked wife’ (even though that sounds dreadful) and ‘birdpecked’ or ‘bepecked spouse’?
Cock-pecked is the traditional counterpart, as the cock (or rooster) is the male counterpart to the hen.
The Oxford English Dictionary puts its first use in 1753:
1753 An Essay on Celibacy 96 Male usurpation, or being cock-pecked, depends for the most part on the want of good nature, and a little submission in the female.
The 1912 Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English puts it thus:
Cockpecked. Masculine home-rule: spec. of a tyrannical kind: cf. Hen-pecked.
It is uncommon today, thank God, but it comes up occasionally in song lyrics and other places. Here’s Yoko Ono:
So don’t try to make cock-pecked people out of us
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