A Dictionary of the English Language
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Cock (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 399, 400

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 399, 400

Cock. n.s. [cocc, Saxon ; coq, French.]

  1. The male to the hen ; a domestick fowl, remarkable for his gallantry, pride, and courage.

    Cocks have great combs and spurs; hens, little or none. Bacon's Natural History, №. 85.

                        True cocks o' th' game,
    That never ask for what, or whom, they fight;
    But turn 'em out, and shew 'em but a foe,
    Cry liberty, and that's a cause of quarrel.
    Dryd. Span. Fryar.

                                The careful hen,
    Calls all her chirping family around,
    Fed and defended by the fearless cock.
    Thomson's Spring.

  2. The male of any small birds.

    He was confirmed in this by observing, that calves and philosophers, tygers and statesmen, cock sparrows and coquets, exactly resemble one another in the formation of the pineal gland. Arbuth. and Pope's Mart. Scrib.

  3. The weathercock, that shews the direction of the wind by turning.

    You cataracts and hurricanoes spout,
    'Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

  4. A spout to let out water at will, by turning the stop.

                              When every room
    Hath blaz'd with lights, and bray'd with minstrelsy,
    I have retir'd me to a wasteful cock,
    And set mine eyes at flow.
    Shakespeare's Timon.

    It were good there were a little cock made in the belly of the upper glass. Bacon's Natural History, № 16.

    Thus the small jett, which hasty hands unlock,
    Spirts in the gard'ner's eyes who turns the cock.
    Pope's Dunc.

  5. The notch of an arrow.

  6. The part of the lock of a gun that strikes with the flint. [From cocca, Ital. the notch of an arrow. Skinner. Perhaps from the action, like that of a cock pecking.]

                        With a hasty rage he snatch'd
    His gunshot, that in holsters watch'd,
    And bending cock, he levell'd full
    Against th' outside of Talgol's skull.
    Hudibras, p. i. cant. 2.

    A seven-shot gun carries powder and bullets for seven charges and discharges. Under the breech of the barrel is one box for the powder; a little before the lock another for the bullets; behind the cock a charger, which carries the powder from the box to a funnel at the further end of the lock. Grew.

  7. A conqueror ; a leader ; a governing man.

    Sir Andrew is grown the cock of the club since he left us. Addison's Spectator, №. 130.

    My schoolmaster call'd me a dunce and a fool;
    But at cuffs I was always the cock of the school.

  8. Cockcrowing; a note of the time in a morning.

    We were carousing 'till the second cock. Shakes. Macbeth.

    He begins at curfew, and goes 'till the first cock. Shakesp.

  9. A cockboat; a small boat.

    They take view of all sized cocks, barges, and fisherboats hovering on the coast. Carew's Survey of Cornwal.

    The fishermen that walk upon the beach,
    Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark,
    Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy,
    Almost too small for sight.
    Shakesp. King Lear.

  10. A small heap of hay. [Properly cop.]

    As soon as the dew is off the ground spread the hay again, and turn it, that it may wither on the other side: then handle it, and, if you find it dry, make it up into cocks. Mortimer.

  11. The form of a hat. [From the comb of the cock.]

    You may see many a smart rhetorician turning his hat in his hands, moulding it into several different cocks. Addison's Spectator, №. 408.

  12. The style or gnomon of a dial. Chambers..

  13. The needle of a balance.

  14. Cock on the Hoop. Triumphant; exulting.

    Now I am a striker, all men on me look;
    What should I do but set cock on the hoop?.
    Camden's Remains.

    You'll make a mutiny among my guests!
    You will set cock a hoop!
    Shakesp. Romeo and Juliet.

    For Hudibras, who thought h' had won
    The field, as certain as a gun,
    And having routed the whole troop,
    With victory was cock a hoop.
    Hudibras, p. i. cant. 3.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Arbuthnot, John (227) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Camden, William (28) · Carew, Thomas (36) · Chambers, Ephraim (20) · Dryden, John (788) · Grew, Nehemiah (36) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Mortimer, John (62) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (46) · Skinner, Stephen (55) · Spectator (140) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Thomson, James (73) · Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (32)

Attributes: French (385) · Italian (29) · Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Cock (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 19, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=19952.

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