from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tap / faucet that regulates the flow of a fluid

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plug-cock or faucet, in which the plug is turned around its axis, by a handle or a wrench, in order to open or close it.
  • n. The servant of a watercompany who turns on the water for the mains, regulates the fire-plugs, etc.

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

  • n. one employed to control water supply by turning water mains on and off
  • n. faucet consisting of a rotating device for regulating flow of a liquid


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Antipa Vologonov sets out a squat samovar that is dinted of side, and plated with green oxide on handle, turncock, and spout.

    Through Russia

  • It usually runs into a cistern, until the water-rates get into arrear, when the supply ceases through the intervention of a turncock.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, November 13, 1841

  • Vologonov sets out a squat samovar that is dinted of side, and plated with green oxide on handle, turncock, and spout.

    Through Russia

  • They watched him oil a turncock sunk in the ground between two furze-bushes.

    Stalky & Co.

  • The little man was left in the centre of the room, his deep eyes smouldering upon the backs of the retreating members, his thumb and finger raised to the turncock of the metre.

    Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works

  • One knew at a glance that if the turncock was to come, see, and overcome the reluctance of the allotted cock-to-be-turned, the water would burst out at every pore of the service-pipes in that house, except the taps; and would know also that the adept who came to soften their hearts and handles would have to go back for his tools, and would be a very long time away.

    Somehow Good

  • Let me ask, What are the real feelings of a householder who is requested to hand out a present to a turncock or dustman whom he has never seen?

    The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions Joints In Our Social Armour

  • Fortunately the church door was close at hand, but before he entered he was aware that the turncock had joined the throng with three bright instruments over his shoulder, as if his services were likely to be wanted toward the end.

    Witness to the Deed

  • I am on nodding terms with a meditative turncock who lingers in one of them, and whom I suspect of a turn for poetry; the rather as he looks out of temper when he gives the fire-plug a disparaging wrench with that large tuning-fork of his which would wear out the shoulder of his coat, but for a precautionary piece of inlaid leather.

    The Uncommercial Traveller

  • The master workman in the engine-room does not teach his apprentice the theory of expansion, or of atmospheric pressure; he guides his hand upon the turncock, he practises his eye upon the index, and he leaves the science to follow when the practice has become mechanical.

    Short Studies on Great Subjects


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  • "He forthwith switched off the water. We were left naked, covered in soap and shivering.

    'I'm not 'avin this,' said Devine, who runs after the Corporal. Soon the water flowed again, but then it went off again, and on again, and off again ... we could hear a scuffle out back somewhere, then the thud of a body falling to the floor. Devine reappeared with a turncock, he had blood coming from his mouth."

    - Spike Milligan, 'Mussolini: My Part In His Downfall'.

    May 14, 2009