Definitions

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

  • n. Either of two related game birds, Scolopax rusticola of the Old World or Philohela minor of North America, having brownish plumage, short legs, and a long bill.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several wading birds in the genus Scolopax, of the family Scolopacidae, characterised by a long slender bill and cryptic brown and blackish plumage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several species of long-billed limicoline birds belonging to the genera Scolopax and Philohela. They are mostly nocturnal in their habits, and are highly esteemed as game birds.
  • n. Fig.: A simpleton.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of two distinct birds of the family Scolopacidæ, closely related to the true snipe (Gallinago).
  • n. The large black pileated woodpecker, or logcock, Hylotomus (or Ceophlæus) pileatus. See cut under pileated.
  • n. In conchology, a woodcock-shell: more fully called thorny woodcock. Also called Venus'scomb.
  • n. A simpleton: in allusion to the facility with which the European woodcock al lows itself to be taken in springes or in nets set for it in the glades.
  • n. The American woodcock, Philohela. minor: a book-name.
  • n. A woodcock-shell, as Murex haustellum.

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

  • n. game bird of the sandpiper family that resembles a snipe

Etymologies

From wood + cock (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Why can you be assured that snipe, grouse, partridge, pheasant or woodcock is what it is, but a chicken is more likely to be a jellied flying rat?

    Commenter Demands Real Shrimps or Refund from Cafe Duke | Midtown Lunch - Finding Lunch in the Food Wasteland of NYC's Midtown Manhattan

  • The 28 shines brightest at modest ranges: in woodcock thickets, quail piney woods, and dove fields, and on skeet and five-stand setups.

    Deadly Darlings

  • “These little brown snipe you call woodcock, ” he began; “we bagged nine brace, d’you see?

    The Fighting Chance

  • I would send him sometimes snipe or golden plover from Kiltartan bog or woodcock from the hazel woods at Coole, hoping to tempt him with something that might better nourish the worn body than the little custard pudding that was used to serve him for his two days 'dinner, because of that "horrible dyspepsia" that often makes those who have been long in prison live starving after their release, mocked with the sight of food.

    Our Irish Theatre: A Chapter of Autobiography

  • The little bird in the middle with the long beak has been known as the woodcock, but I notice it has nostrils in the end of that beak--?

    Animal toys

  • Mrs. Carnaby loved a good dinner right well, a dinner unplagued by hospitable cares; when a woodcock was her own to dwell on, and pretty little teeth might pick a pretty little bone at ease.

    Mary Anerley

  • While the woodcock is an easy bird to hit, with a soft flight like an owl, and if you do miss him he will probably pitch down and give you another shot.

    Hemingway on Hunting

  • If my childhood memories of country life are still reliable, a woodcock is a shy creature with a soft, mothlike flight (la bécasse des bois in French), whereas le coq de bruyère is a capercailzie or grouse, a species noted for the flamboyant mating behavior of the male birds.

    Polymorphic Peter Pan

  • The woodcock is a very handsome bird with its dark mottled brown plumage, long bill, and large, full, black eyes.

    Country Walks of a Naturalist with His Children

  • Still better sport is offered by a variety of solitary snipe as big as a small woodcock, which is plentiful in this country, and which is flown at with a very small, agile, and highly-trained hawk with an almost red tail.

    Allan Quatermain

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • What does he have againsts weird-eyed living things?

    October 1, 2009

  • Yes, Brillat-Savarin made me arm myself to defend my little dog's one-eyed-ness. :) Which I will do again! (Mostly because he's really really cute.)

    October 1, 2009

  • All right, now. Is this the same guy who likened dessert without cheese to a beautiful one-eyed woman? Away with him! No cooked woodcocks here!

    October 1, 2009

  • "A woodcock is only in its full glory when roasted actually before the very eyes of the hunter, above all, the hunter who shot it." - French gastronome Brillat-Savarin

    September 24, 2009

  • A de-wooded cooked cock shock!

    December 21, 2007

  • Oh, I hope not. That might mean it's been dressed and cooked! Also, are your eyes way back past your ears?

    December 21, 2007

  • I often feel as though I'm an odd little fellow at heart. Do you think I might have swallowed a woodcock?

    December 21, 2007

  • An odd little fellow. :-)

    December 21, 2007