Example - this tweet:

...especially given the reliance of these pundits on phony drama, false equivalence, trolling and chicken littling, and horse race gossip.

I've skimmed the wikipedia page on Henny Penny/Chicken Little. From the plot summary it is unclear to me which specific behavior by whom is meant with chicken littling, and how it refers to pundits and other public statements.

I've seen the statement recently a few times in regard to news and this is the specific context I'm interested in, if chicken littling means different things in different contexts.

  • Please include the research you've done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. – Hot Licks May 18 '16 at 11:24

Read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henny_Penny

Chicken Licken

[...] is a folk tale with a moral in the form of a cumulative tale about a chicken who believes the world is coming to an end. The phrase "The sky is falling!" features prominently in the story, and has passed into the English language as a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.

... so as a verb it is simply someone behaving like that.

  • It's worth noting that the same character goes by a number of names: Henny Penny, Chicken Licken and Chicken Little; the last of which is the one referenced in OP's tweet. – Michael May 18 '16 at 10:00
  • So "you're chicken littling!" would translate as "you always warn of disaster, no matter what's up!"? – mart May 18 '16 at 10:02
  • 1
    Yes, that's my interpretation of what the author meant. It is an amusing and uncommon way to describe a panicked person. – k1eran May 18 '16 at 10:18
  • @Michael - the version I know has Chicken Little being the first to believe that disaster is imminent. Chicken Licken then persuades a succession of other farmyard animals to become equally anxious (until they are all duped by a wily fox who eats them all). – Dan May 18 '16 at 13:51
  • It is a reference to loosing credibility. No one believed Chicken Little's warning when there really was cause for alarm because of all the previous false alarms. – Phil Sweet May 18 '16 at 14:41

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