Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A cone-shaped pile of straw or hay.
  • transitive verb To arrange (straw or hay) into piles shaped like cones.
  • noun An adult male chicken; a rooster.
  • noun An adult male of various other birds.
  • noun A weathervane shaped like a rooster; a weathercock.
  • noun A faucet or valve by which the flow of a liquid or gas can be regulated.
  • noun The hammer of a firearm.
  • noun The position of the hammer of a firearm when ready for firing.
  • noun A tilting or jaunty turn upward.
  • noun The penis.
  • noun A man or boy regarded as mean or contemptible.
  • noun Archaic The characteristic cry of a rooster early in the morning.
  • transitive verb To set the hammer of (a firearm) in a position ready for firing.
  • transitive verb To set (a device, such as a camera shutter) in a position ready for use.
  • transitive verb To tilt or turn up or to one side, usually in a jaunty or alert manner.
  • transitive verb To raise in preparation to throw or hit.
  • idiom (cock of the walk) An overbearing or domineering person.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Fight.
  • To fight; contend.
  • To raise or draw back the cock or hammer of (a gun or pistol), as a preliminary to firing: as, he cocked his rifle.
  • To set cocks to fighting, or to train them for fighting.
  • In hay-making, to put into cocks or piles.
  • A variant of calk.
  • noun A small boat; a cockboat; a skiff.
  • noun A cockle.
  • noun Scarlet.
  • The act of turning up or to one side in a jaunty or significant way, as the head or a hat; the position of anything thus placed.
  • A particular shape given to a hat, especially by turning up and fastening the brim.
  • One of the flaps or parts of a hat turned up. See flap.
  • noun The male of the domestic fowl; specifically, a male chicken one year old or older, one less than a year old being properly called a cockerel.
  • noun The male of any other bird, particularly of the gallinaceous kind: in this use especially in composition, as in peacock, turkey-cock, cockrobin, cock-sparrow, etc.
  • noun A bird, particularly a gallinaceous bird, without reference to sex: usually in composition or with a distinctive epithet or qualifying phrase, as in blackcock, logcock, woodcock, and the phrasal names below.
  • noun Cock-crowing; the time when cocks crow in the morning.
  • noun A leader; a chief person; a ruling spirit: as, cock of the school.
  • noun A fellow; chap: a familiar term of address or appellation, usually preceded by old, and used much in the same way as fellow, chap, boy, etc.
  • noun A vane in the shape of a cock; a weather-cock.
  • noun A faucet or turn-valve, contrived for the purpose of permitting or arresting the flow of fluids or air through a pipe, usually taking its special name from its peculiar use or construction: as, air-cock, feed-cock, gage-cock, etc.
  • noun The portion of the lock of a firearm which by its fall, when released through the action of the trigger, produces the discharge; in a flint-lock, the part that holds the flint; in a percussion-lock, the hammer.
  • noun In a firearm, the position into which the hammer is brought by being pulled back to the first or second catch. See at full cock, at half cock, below.
  • noun The style or gnomon of a dial.
  • noun The needle of a balance.
  • noun The piece which forms the bearing of the balance in a clock or watch.
  • noun Same as cockee.
  • noun A fictitious narrative, in verse or prose, sold in the streets as a true account; a cock-and-bull story; a canard.
  • noun A perversion of or substitution for the word God, occurring in oaths, such as “(By) cock's body” (bones, wounds, nouns, etc.), “by cock and pye,” etc. Compare gog in similar use.
  • To turn up or to one side in a jaunty or significant way; give a pert, knowing, or inquiring turn to: as, to cock the head; to cock the eye at a person; to cock the brim of a hat; the horse cocked up his ears.
  • To hold up the head; look big, pert, or domineering.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English cok.]

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

[Middle English cok, from Old English cocc, probably from Late Latin coccus, from coco, a cackling, of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English cok, from Old English coc, cocc ("cock, male bird"), from Proto-Germanic *kukkaz (“cock”), probably of onomatopoeic origin. Cognate with Old Norse kokkr ("cock"; whence Danish kok ("cock")). Reinforced by Old French coc, also of imitative origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

from Old French coque ("a type of small boat"), from child-talk coco 'egg'

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English cock, cok, from Old English -cocc (attested in place names), from Old Norse kǫkkr ("lump"), from Proto-Germanic *kukkaz (“bulge, swelling”), from Proto-Indo-European *geugh- (“swelling”). Cognate with Norwegian kok ("heap, lump"), Swedish koka ("a lump of earth"), German Kocke ("heap of hay, dunghill"), Middle Low German kogge ("wide, rounded ship"), Dutch kogel ("ball"), German Kugel ("ball, globe").

Examples

  • And the word cock is a halfway dirty word; fifty percent dirty, dirty half the time, depending on what you mean by it.

    Last Words

  • If all you are thinking about is sex (as the term cock block would imply) then that is disrespectful.

    [Help] Most Recent Posts

  • He had always laughed at what he called my cock-and-bull story about the colonel, but he looked very scared and puzzled now that the same thing had come upon himself.

    Sole Music

  • He had always laughed at what he called my cock-and-bull story about the colonel, but he looked very scared and puzzled now that the same thing had come upon himself.

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • To me he was an upper-form demi-god and I, seeing nothing odd in his actions, for he was what I called the cock of the school, voiced my trembling plea.

    Margarita's Soul The Romantic Recollections of a Man of Fifty

  • 'I don't know, sir,' she began quietly, 'by what right you speak to me about what you call my cock-and-bull stories.

    The Return

  • He had always laughed at what he called my cock-and-bull story about the colonel, but he looked very scared and puzzled now that the same thing had come upon himself.

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • He had always laughed at what he called my cock-and-bull story about the colonel, but he looked very scared and puzzled now that the same thing had come upon himself.

    The Five Orange Pips

  • Use any slang acceptable in a group and the term cock stopper is right in this context.

    [Help] Most Recent Posts

  • "I just went into Google and typed in 'cock' and 'boobs' and stuff," recalled one lad of his early online interests.

    Shag bands, porn on mobile phones … kids need more help to understand sex

Comments

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  • Usage in Newfoundland English:

    "I am hiking on the cliffside trail on Signal Hill -- the granite sentinel that watches over the city's harbor entrance -- when 60-mph gusts nearly lift me off my feet. I drop to the ground, wedging against boulders for security. Howling headwinds scour my face like sandpaper. Suddenly a jogger runs by. He is holding tightly onto his ballooning shorts, which have half flown off. He grins at me, "How's she cutting, me cock?" Excuse me?

    Newfoundland English, as I am rapidly discovering, is a tongue-twisting, colorful blend of Irish and English dialects and sea-lore expressions. The language, which developed as a result of Newfoundland's history as one of Britain's first settlements in the New World as well as its geographical isolation, even boasts a dictionary of more than 700 pages..." --Paula Stone, "A Trip Off the Old Rock," Washington Post, Sunday, April 22, 2007; Page P01.

    "...which I own, because I got it for Christmas." --chained_bear

    I still don't know what "how's she cutting, me cock?" means, but someday I hope to find out.

    January 5, 2008

  • It's not that unusual to hear this usage in parts of the UK. I've known cockneys and scousers who've been liable to greet a man with "how are you, me old cock?" or "aye aye, cocker!"

    January 5, 2008

  • Sounds like a term of endearment, no?

    January 7, 2008

  • Yeah, that's what I took it to be. Similar to mate or pal. The etymology is beyond me but I'm certain it has nothing to do with male genitalia. That said, I've never heard it used by or to a woman (although Paula Stone proves things are different in Newfoundland).

    'How's she cutting' - could that be of nautical origin?

    January 8, 2008

  • I wouldn't be surprised if it were nautical, yarb, considering that it's used in Newfoundland. But after a bit of poking around, I found that it's also used in Ireland and that some suspect it's an old farming phrase. Anyone know for sure?

    January 8, 2008

  • I've heard it used as a term of endearment in Ireland, though I think it would generally be preceded by an adjective, most likely 'old' or 'oul'.

    As expected, Terence Patrick Dolan's ridonkulous "Dictionary of Hiberno-English" is of no help at all, disallowing the possibility that cock may be used as a noun.

    January 8, 2008

  • reesetee, are you talking about the "how's she cutting" part, or the "old cock" part?

    I'm sure in this usage that "cock" is an endearment not unlike the terms yarb and sionnach mentioned as in use in Ireland. I'd also like to know what "how's she cutting" means though.

    I could see it being nautical OR agricultural in origin. Hmm.

    January 8, 2008

  • I was responding to yarb's "how's she cutting" question about whether that part of the whole phrase could be nautical, but earlier I was asking whether "cock" were in this case a term of endearment. Yeesh, this is getting confusing. :-)

    January 8, 2008

  • I just got a memo at work that contains the following:

    "Pull slightly on the cock to ensure you have the strength to operate that particular musket. The pull required varies between muskets and you should not take out a musket to shoot unless you can operate the cock easily and safely."

    Wow.

    July 10, 2008

  • "How's it hanging, buddy?" is what he asked of ye.

    (aka "how are you doing?")

    This was not a double entendre, but merely a statement to which an answer was not mandatory).

    April 14, 2009