Definitions

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

  • n. An adult male chicken; a rooster.
  • n. An adult male of various other birds.
  • n. A weathervane shaped like a rooster; a weathercock.
  • n. A leader or chief.
  • n. A faucet or valve by which the flow of a liquid or gas can be regulated.
  • n. The hammer of a firearm.
  • n. The position of the hammer of a firearm when ready for firing.
  • n. A tilting or jaunty turn upward: the cock of a hat.
  • n. Vulgar Slang The penis.
  • n. Archaic The characteristic cry of a rooster early in the morning.
  • transitive v. To set the hammer of (a firearm) in a position ready for firing.
  • transitive v. To set (a device, such as a camera shutter) in a position ready for use.
  • transitive v. To tilt or turn up or to one side, usually in a jaunty or alert manner: cocked an eyebrow in response to a silly question.
  • transitive v. To raise in preparation to throw or hit: cocked the bat before swinging at the pitch.
  • intransitive v. To set the hammer of a firearm in a position ready for firing.
  • intransitive v. To turn or stick up.
  • intransitive v. To strut; swagger.
  • idiom snoot Slang To express scorn or derision by or as if by placing the thumb on the nose and wiggling the fingers; thumb one's nose: "[He] could cock a snoot at the rest of the . . . world and blithely go his own way” ( Elie Kedourie).
  • idiom cock of the walk An overbearing or domineering person.
  • n. A cone-shaped pile of straw or hay.
  • transitive v. To arrange (straw or hay) into piles shaped like cones.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A male bird, especially a domestic fowl.
  • n. Male chicken or other gallinaceous bird.
  • n. A valve or tap for controlling flow in plumbing.
  • n. The hammer of a firearm trigger mechanism.
  • n. The penis.
  • n. The circle at the end of the rink.
  • n. The state of being cocked; an upward turn, tilt or angle.
  • n. A stupid person.
  • n. An informal term of address.
  • n. A boastful tilt of one's head or hat
  • n. shuttlecock
  • v. To lift the cock of a firearm; to prepare (a gun) to be fired.
  • v. To be prepared to be triggered.
  • v. To erect, notably lift or tilt (headwear) boastfully
  • v. To copulate with.
  • v. To turn or twist something upwards or to one side.
  • interj. Expression of annoyance.
  • n. A small pile
  • v. To form into piles.
  • n. Short for cock-boat, a type of small boat.
  • proper n. A corruption of the word God, used in oaths.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The male of birds, particularly of gallinaceous or domestic fowls.
  • n. A vane in the shape of a cock; a weathercock.
  • n. A chief man; a leader or master.
  • n. The crow of a cock, esp. the first crow in the morning; cockcrow.
  • n. A faucet or valve.
  • n. The style of gnomon of a dial.
  • n. The indicator of a balance.
  • n. The bridge piece which affords a bearing for the pivot of a balance in a clock or watch.
  • n. a penis.
  • n. The act of cocking; also, the turn so given.
  • n. The notch of an arrow or crossbow.
  • n. The hammer in the lock of a firearm.
  • n. A small concial pile of hay.
  • n. A small boat.
  • n. A corruption or disguise of the word God, used in oaths.
  • intransitive v. To strut; to swagger; to look big, pert, or menacing.
  • intransitive v. To draw back the hammer of a firearm, and set it for firing.
  • transitive v. To set erect; to turn up.
  • transitive v. To shape, as a hat, by turning up the brim.
  • transitive v. To set on one side in a pert or jaunty manner.
  • transitive v. To turn (the eye) obliquely and partially close its lid, as an expression of derision or insinuation.
  • transitive v. To draw the hammer of (a firearm) fully back and set it for firing.
  • transitive v. To put into cocks or heaps, as hay.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In hay-making, to put into cocks or piles.
  • To fight; contend.
  • A variant of calk.
  • To pamper; cocker.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Cock-crowing; the time when cocks crow in the morning.
  • n. A leader; a chief person; a ruling spirit: as, cock of the school.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A vane in the shape of a cock; a weather-cock.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The style or gnomon of a dial.
  • n. The needle of a balance.
  • n. The piece which forms the bearing of the balance in a clock or watch.
  • n. Same as cockee.
  • n. A fictitious narrative, in verse or prose, sold in the streets as a true account; a cock-and-bull story; a canard.
  • n. A small conical pile of hay, so shaped for shedding rain; a haycock.
  • n. A small boat; a cockboat; a skiff.
  • n. A nock or notch, especially that in the butt-end of an arrow, or on the stock of a crossbow, which receives or retains the string.
  • n. Fight.
  • n. A cockle.
  • n. Scarlet.
  • n. 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.

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

  • v. tilt or slant to one side
  • v. set the trigger of a firearm back for firing
  • n. obscene terms for penis
  • n. faucet consisting of a rotating device for regulating flow of a liquid
  • n. the part of a gunlock that strikes the percussion cap when the trigger is pulled
  • n. adult male chicken
  • v. to walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others
  • n. adult male bird

Etymologies

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.
Middle English cok.

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 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").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

Comments

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  • I was addressed as cock by a stranger yesterday and it struck me as odd. However, in the hallowed (and lengthy) halls of definitions up above there's this:

    'n. informal, British, Tasmania An informal term of address.'

    So there you have it. I've had old cock from friends but this was the first time I've heard this Tasmanianism. The exchange happened when we were in the checkout queue at a supermarket. The other gentleman, probably around 30 years of age and working class (assuming paint splattered day-glo workwear is not a fashion preference), seemed to be indicating I could move ahead of him at his pleasure.

    Punter: Go on cock, you've got bugger all, you're right.

    Me: No.

    January 6, 2013

  • From "Dictionary of Lowland Scotch" by Charles Mackay

    Cock.

    This syllable, which enters into the composition of many words and phrases both in Lowland Scotch and modern English, has generally been associated with its supposed derivation from cock, the name given to the male of birds, and especially to the familiar gallinaceous barn-door fowl that "crows in the morning." Its true derivation, however, is from the Gaelic coc, which means to elevate, to erect, to stand up, to throw high, to lift, as in such phrases as a "cocked-hat," a "cockade," "cock up your beaver," " cock-sure" (manifestly or presumedly sure, or pretending to be so), " cock-a-hoop," and many others. It is more common in Lowland Scotch than in English. To cock, signifies to mount one boy on the back of another for punishment on the posteriors ; to cock-shy, to throw a stone or other missile high in the air; cock-a-penny or cock-a-pentie, to live beyond one's income for pride or ostentation, or the disinclination to appear as poor as one is in reality by expending more pennies than one has honestly got; cockie-vain, conceited, arrogant, stuck up ; cockie-ridie, a game among children, when one rides on the shoulders of another; a cockhorse, a wooden horse, on which children mount for amusement; cock-laird, a small landed proprietor, who affects the dignity and gives himself the airs of a great one ; cock-headed or cockle- headed, vain, conceited, whimsical, stuck up; cockernonie (which see); cock-raw, manifestly or plainly raw, underdone ; cock- up nose, a turned-up nose, " tiptilted," as Lord Tennyson more elegantly describes it, and cockeye, a squint-eye, that cocks up or awry when it should look straight.

    None of these words have any connection with the male bird of the Gallinaceae, but all are traceable etymologically to the Gaelic root of coc. Philologists, if so disposed, may trace to this same source the vulgar and indecent English and Scottish words which may be found in Juvenal and Horace as Mentula.

    April 24, 2009

  • "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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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'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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Sounds like a term of endearment, no?

    January 7, 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

  • 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