A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Cackle (verb)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 313

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 313

To Ca'ckle. v.n. [kaeckelen, Dutch.]

  1. To make a noise as a goose.

    The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
    When every goose is cackling, would be thought
    No better a musician than the wren.
    Shakesp. M. of Venice.

    Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
    I'd drive thee cackling home to Camelot.
    Shakesp. K. Lear.

    Or rob the Roman geese of all their glories,
    And save the state, by cackling to the tories.

  2. Sometimes it is used for the noise of a hen.

    Now to my story I return again:
    The trembling widow, and her daughters twain,
    This woeful cackling cry, with horror heard,
    Of those distracted damsels in the yard.
    Dryden's Fab.

  3. To laugh; to giggle.

    Then Nic. grinned, cackled, and laughed, till he was like to kill himself, and seemed to be so pleased, that he fell a frisking and dancing about the room. Arbuthnot's J. Bull.

Sources: Arbuthnot, John (227) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Pope, Alexander (393)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Verb Neuter (131)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Cackle (verb)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 16, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/cackle-verb/.

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