Definitions

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

  • n. A little man with an unduly high opinion of himself.
  • n. Boastful talk; braggadocio.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A menial, yet self-important man, empty boaster.
  • n. The game leapfrog.
  • n. A boastful speech.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person of consequence; a self-important person.

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration (influenced by Latin -ōrum, genitive pl. ending) of obsolete Flemish kockeloeren, to crow, of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably from a Dutch dialectal kockeloeren an onomatopeia; hence modern Dutch verb koekeloeren ("to crow"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For "cockalorum," be it noted, we frequently substituted the name of some particularly obnoxious master.

    My Days of Adventure The Fall of France, 1870-71

  • No trespassers allowed -- eh, what? young cockalorum.

    The Dark House

  • "Now, Lucas, dear boy," said Heriot genially, "tell this old cockalorum who you saw off on a steamer for South America."

    The Prodigal Father

  • "I suppose he thinks he's the grand high cockalorum!" she told herself, chuckling.

    The Iron Woman

  • Like so many of his fellows -- cultured moderns, alien to the larger forms of patriotism, that rich liquor brewed of maps and figures, commercial profit, and high-cockalorum, which served so perfectly to swell smaller heads -- Felix had a love of his native land resembling love for a woman,

    The Freelands

  • "Hollo, young cockalorum, is it there you are!" shouted Pete.

    The Manxman A Novel - 1895

  • "You must call it 'hot cockalorum,' and what this?" he went on, pointing to the water.

    English Fairy Tales

  • "You'll be all right soon, my helpless old cockalorum," he cried cheerily.

    Fix Bay'nets The Regiment in the Hills

  • And he put on such high-cockalorum airs that I, bein 'as soft as mush around the heart, jest wilted and agreed to give him everything he bargained for if he would promise not to hinder.

    A Chosen Few Short Stories

  • I really do try to behave, but I have my cockalorum set for 11 p.m., and when it goes off ...

    Latest Articles

Comments

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  • His grandeur he finds in a humble forum,
    Where clustering fans clearly adore him.
    His pulse always quickens
    When feeding the chickens;
    Then Ernest can strut like a true cockalorum.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    July 15, 2014

  • noun
    1. a young cockerel
    2. a boastful but little person

    October 28, 2008

  • A boastful and self-important person; boastful talk

    citation

    September 5, 2008