What is chicken? / Was ist Huhn?

Frigaliment Importing Co. v. B.N.S. International Sales Corp. 190 F.Supp. 116 (S.D.N.Y. 1960)

This is an old case but I seem to have missed it:

The issue is, what is chicken? Plaintiff says ‘chicken’ means a young chicken, suitable for broiling and frying. Defendant says ‘chicken’ means any bird of that genus that meets contract specifications on weight and quality, including what it calls ‘stewing chicken’ and plaintiff pejoratively terms ‘fowl’. Dictionaries give both meanings, as well as some others not relevant here.

The plaintiff wanted broilers and fryers, but it failed to convey this to the defendant.

Plaintiff stresses that, although these and subsequent cables between plaintiff and defendant, which laid the basis for the additional quantities under the first and for all of the second contract, were predominantly in German, they used the English word ‘chicken’; it claims this was done because it understood ‘chicken’ meant young chicken whereas the German word, ‘Huhn,’ included both ‘Brathuhn’ (broilers) and ‘Suppenhuhn’ (stewing chicken), and that defendant, whose officers were thoroughly conversant with German, should have realized this. Whatever force this argument might otherwise have is largely drained away by Bauer’s testimony that he asked Stovicek what kind of chickens were wanted, received the answer ‘any kind of chickens,’ and then, in German, asked whether the cable meant ‘Huhn’ and received an affirmative response.

Via The Volokh Conspiracy, which also links to Chicken Law in an Eggshell.

7 thoughts on “What is chicken? / Was ist Huhn?

  1. como puedo obtener una copia de certificado de nacimiento de un familiar mio con fecha de nacimiento del 30 de abril de 1886


  2. As an adopted person I think I can clear up the Abstammungsurkunde thing: It’s an A4 Sheet, on the left there’s a copy of the original Birth certificate listing both biological parents and in the margin on the right it states who adopted and when and where and when was it made final.

    At least I’m pretty sure that what I’m describing is my Abstammungsurkunde. I got mine secretly when I was 14. It was sent registered mail and I had to pick it up for 14,75DM at the post office ;-)

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