like a chicken with its head cut off

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like a chicken with its head cut off

With great haste and in a careless and/or senseless manner. Instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off, make a list of items you need to finish and then work on them in order.
See also: chicken, cut, head, like, off

like a chicken with its head cut off

In a frenzied manner, distractedly, crazily. For example, She ran around the station looking for her lost bag like a chicken with its head cut off . This graphic simile alludes to the fact that the body of a chicken whose head has been cut off sometimes totters about crazily before succumbing.
See also: chicken, cut, head, like, off

like a chicken with its head cut off

In a frenzy. Chickens have been known to twitch and even stagger around for several minutes after being decapitated, the result of a reflexive response. A person in the throes of extreme emotional agitation exhibits the same sort of fowl play.
See also: chicken, cut, head, like, off
References in periodicals archive ?
They have, for instance, a general notion that "running around like a chicken with its head cut off" refers to a state of panic or agitation.
imperialism as doomed as a chicken with its head cut off.
He was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. He had to get her out of the car and into her wheelchair, then wheel down the aisle and get her in her seat, then wheel the wheelchair back and stash it somewhere, then run back and watch the opera--he was on the go all night.
6:56 a.m.: Oakwood Drive, caller reported beer bottle full of dead birds; police found a chicken with its head cut off in a Bud Light box with a sticker that said "KFC cruelty."
Hatching an idea for a new show, at a new job in a different country--I've really flown the coop--it can be like running around like a chicken with its head cut off: So many ideas.
"You can't absorb too much when you're trying to coach - you run around like a chicken with its head cut off."
Hayes was chatting up the ladies and Jeremy was running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to videotape all the action.