Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A dressed and split chicken for roasting or broiling on a spit.
  • transitive v. To prepare (a dressed chicken) for grilling by splitting open.
  • transitive v. To introduce or interpose, especially in a labored or unsuitable manner: "Some excerpts from a Renaissance mass are spatchcocked into Gluck's pallid Don Juan music” ( Alan Rich).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Chicken meat when prepared by spatchcocking. (See below.)
  • n. A rushed effort.
  • v. To cut poultry along the spine and spread the halves apart, for more even cooking when grilled.
  • v. To interpolate, insert or sandwich (in or into)
  • v. To prepare in haste.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See spitchcock.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To kill and serve (a fowl) hastily, as a spatch-cock.
  • To prepare (something) in haste for an emergency; in the extract, to insert hastily into a document.
  • Milit., to punish by stretching upon the ground with arms and legs extended and fastened down.
  • n. A fowl killed and immediately broiled, as for some sudden occasion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. prepare for eating if or as if a spatchcock
  • n. flesh of a chicken (or game bird) split down the back and grilled (usually immediately after being killed)
  • v. interpolate or insert (words) into a sentence or story

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration of spitchcock, a way of cooking an eel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Related to spitchcock ("to split and broil an eel"), of uncertain origin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • I love this word when employed as a verb.

    February 23, 2010

  • The autumn sunshine, which had never been more than a sarcasm on the part of a thoroughly unpleasant day, had failed altogether, and Edinburgh had become a series of corridors through which there rushed a trampling wind. It set the dead leaves rising from the pavement in an exasperated, seditious way, and let them ride dispersedly through the eddying air far above the heads of the clambering figures that, up and down the side-street, stood arrested and, it seemed, flattened, as if they had been spatchcocked by the advancing wind and found great difficulty in folding themselves up again.

    - Rebecca West, The Judge

    July 29, 2009