Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cock n.3

[Lat. cuccus, the male domestic fowl; thus the term has been used for any object that resembles a cock’s head. As far as its use as a sexual term is concerned, cock here mixes the basic image of the cock as rooster (itself a 19C US euph.) and the cock’s head seen as a tap-like shape, this secondary aspect emphasized by its function in ‘pouring’ semen (or urine). Tabooed subseq. to Queen Victoria’s coronation, it has yet to return to the mainstream. Note DSUE: ‘always SE but since 1830 a vulgarism’ and OED (in late 19C) notes ‘the current name among the people, but, pudoris causa, not admissible in polite speech or literature’]

1. [mid-15C+] (UK/US North, also cocky) the penis.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

3. [17C] a man as a sexual being.

4. [mid-17C–1900s] a man, spec. a plucky fighter.

5. [late 17C–19C] an expert, an exemplar.

6. [late 18C] (UK Und.) one who, being hanged, dies bravely.

7. [late 19C+] a show-off, a self-promoter.

8. [1900s] (also cockey) the clitoris.

9. [1920s+] (US black) sexual intercourse.

10. [1960s–70s] (US black) an orgasm.

11. [1970s+] (US campus) an offensive man.

12. [1970s+] a man who is easy to sponge on, spec. one who buys more than his necessary share in a pub.

In derivatives

cockfest (n.) [2000s+]

1. (US teen) an all-male party.

2. (US campus/teen) a party at which males vastly outnumber females.

In compounds

cock ale (n.) [SE cock-ale, ale mixed with the jelly or minced meat of a boiled cock, besides other ingredients + a pun on sense 1 above]

[mid-17C–mid-19C] a variety of beer that supposedly has aphrodisiac properties.

cock alley (n.)

[late 18C–19C] the female genitals; thus take a turn in Cock Alley/Lane, to have sexual intercourse.

cock-and-breeches (n.) [from ‘Cock and Breches’ a gingerbread effigy of a small boy, traditionally sold at Bartholomew Fair]

[early 19C] a small, sturdy boy.

cock artist (n.) [-artist sfx]

[1990s+] a sexually sophisticated man.

cock-bawd (n.) [lit. a ‘male whore’]

1. [17C–19C] a procurer.

2. [late 17C–early 18C] a superior prostitute.


see separate entries.

cock-brain (n.) [? a young man’s trad. obsession with sex]

[mid-16C–17C; mid-19C–1910s] (later use is US only) a foolish young man; thus cockbrained adj., foolish.

cockchafer (n.)

see separate entries.

cock cheese (n.) (also cockhead cheese, dick-cheese, knob-cheese, prick cheese) [cheese n.1 (2a)]

1. [late 19C+] smegma.

2. [2000s] a general term of abuse.

cock collar (n.)

[1970s] (US black) the head of the penis, esp. its base, where it joins the main shaft.

cock-diesel (n.) [diesel n. (2)] [1980s+]

1. (US black/campus) a strong, muscular, attractive man; also as adj.

2. (US gay) a muscular male homosexual.

cock doctor (n.)

[20C+] a venereologist.

cockface (n.)

[1960s+] (US) a general term of abuse.

cockhead (n.) [-head sfx (1)]

[1970s+] (Aus./US) a general term of abuse; also used affectionately/intimately; thus cock-headed adj.

cock holder (n.)

[late 19C–1940s] the vagina.

cock holster (n.)

[2000s+ ] (US) used as an insult, thus synon. with cunt n. (4)

cock hound (n.)

a sexually voracious female.

cock inn (n.) [a pun on the fictitious public house]

[late 19C+] the vagina.

cock-knocker (n.) [lit. ‘penis-hitter’]

1. [1950s+] (US, also cacknacker) an unpleasant, worthless person.

2. [1990s+] a male homosexual.

cock lane (n.) [The term was reinforced by the real-life Cock Lane (in the City), which in the 14C was the only street on which London’s prostitutes were licensed to ply their trade in public. The Great Fire was supposed to have stopped at its junction with Giltspur Street, while in February 1762 thousands of the curious (including Dr Johnson, the Duke of York and other grandees) flocked to number 33 Cock Lane to hear the scratchings and knockings of the alleged ‘Cock Lane Ghost’]

[late 18C+] the vagina.

In compounds

cock manger (n.) [i.e. the supposed similarity of a urinal to the manger from which horses eat]

[2000s] (Irish) a urinal.

cock monkey (n.)

[1990s+] (US campus) a male homosexual.

cockmunch (n.)

[1990s+] a general term of abuse, a very unpleasant person.

cock pit (n.)

1. [mid-18C+] the vagina.

2. [mid-18C+] the penis .

3. [1980s] (US) the clitoris.

cock puke (n.)

[1990s+] semen.

cock rock (n.)

[1970s+] heavy metal music with even more than the usual macho strutting and posturing.

cock-rocker (n.) [1990s+]

1. a male rock musician, or rock band, whose primary appeal lies in overt sexuality and macho posturing.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

cock-rot (n.)

[1980s+] (US) a venereal disease.

cock-rotted (adj.) [fig. use of prev.]

broken down, useless, lit. rotten.

cock sauce (n.)

[2000s] (US) semen.

cock-scratchers (n.)

[1970s] hands.

cock’s eye (n.)

[1900s] (Aus.) in dice games, the number one.

cockshire (n.)

[late 18C+] the vagina.

cock show (n.)

[1950s] burlesque; striptease.

cock-shy (n.) [pun on SE cockshy, a fairground game that involved throwing broomsticks at a cock. If the thrower could knock over the cock and grab it before it regained its feet, he would win the bird]

[19C] the vagina.

cock-shy (adj.)

[1990s+] of a woman, uninterested in or frightened of sex.

cocksman (n.)

see separate entry.

cocksmoker (n.) [1990s+] (Can.)

1. a fellator; a semi-euph. for cocksucker n.

2. any male person.

3. a general term of abuse.

cock socket (n.)

[2000s] the anus.

cockstand (n.)

see separate entry.

cockstrong (adj.)

[1980s+] (US black/campus) strong, muscular, masculine.

cock-struck (adj.)

[late 19C] of a woman, obsessed with sex, or with a particular man; thus used by homosexual men.


see separate entries.

cock-tail (n.)

1. [19C–1940s] a prostitute.

2. [1970s+] (US gay) a male prostitute.


see separate entries.

cock-trap (n.)

[mid–late 19C] the vagina.

Cock Tuesday (n.)

[1930s] (Irish) the eve of Lent.

cockwomble (n.)

[2010s] a general term of derision.

In phrases

all cock and ribs (like a musterer’s dog) (also a gypsy’s dog, ...rover’s dog, all bones and saltshakers like a musterer’s dog, all prick and ribs like a swaggie’s dog)

[1970s+] (Aus./N.Z.) said of a very thin person.

beat the cock off (v.)

[1990s+] (US) to beat severely.

big-cock (adj.)

[1960s–70s] (US) enormous, outsized.

cock it (v.)

[18C–19C; 1960s+] to have sexual intercourse.

cop a cock (v.)

[1970s+] (US gay) to fellate.

cream one’s cock (v.)

[1990s+] to masturbate.

get one’s cock caught in the zipper (v.)

[1970s+] to be in very bad trouble, to get into extreme difficulties.

give someone the cock (v.) [20C+] (W.I./Guy.)

1. to outsmart, to outwit by trickery or other unfair means.

2. to cause someone unexpected trouble.

go cock-fighting (v.)

[19C] to have sexual intercourse.

have a bit of cock (v.)

[late 19C+] to have sexual intercourse.

have one’s cock on the block (v.)

[1970s+] (orig. US) to be facing serious problems, to be prepared to take a risk or a stand that may be dangerous.

keep one’s cock up (v.)

[1970s] (US) to stay cheerful, despite possible adversity.

on half cock (adj.)

[late 19C] of the penis, semi-erect.

pull one’s cock (v.)

[1960s+] to masturbate.

pull someone’s cock (v.)

[1990s+] (US) to tease, to deceive, to hoax.

put the cock to (v.)

[1970s] (US) to arrest, to discipline, to punish.

step on one’s cock (v.)

[1970s+] (orig. US) to get oneself into serious trouble, to make a major blunder.

In exclamations

cock it! [euph. for the ‘harder’ fuck it! excl.]

[1920s] a mild excl. of annoyance, that’s it! that’s all over!

SE in slang uses

In compounds

cock-a-brass (n.)

[late 18C] (UK Und.) a member of a team of card sharpers who diverts a disgruntled victim from pursuing them.

cock-and-hen club (n.) [SE cock and hen, a man and wife]

[late 18C+] a club that admits both men and women; thus cock-and-hen adj.

cock-a-wax (n.) (also cock of wax, cockowax, cocky-wax)

1. [early–mid-19C] (also son of wax) a cobbler, who uses wax in his work.

2. [late 18C–19C] a familiar term of address, esp. as my old cock-a-wax; also as n. to denote an admirable, self-possessed individual (see cites 1877, 1891).

cock-broth (n.)

[mid-17C+] (UK tramp) any form of strong, satisfying soup.

cock-pimp (n.)

[late 17C–18C] a pimp, who poses as his prostitute’s husband.

cock robin (n.) [nursery rhyme, in which the hapless Cock Robin is killed. The original rhyme, first noted c.1744, may have concerned the fall in 1742 of Prime Minister Robert Walpole’s ministry. It may, on the other hand, have its roots in much earlier events, notably the mythical death of the Norse hero Balder]

[late 17C–18C] a complaisant, weak person.

cock-tail (n.) [SE cock, to lift up + tail]

[mid–late 19C] a coward; thus turn cocktail, to act in a cowardly manner.

In phrases

cock of the game (n.) [SE cock of the game, a champion; the ‘game’ in this case is not a sport, but that ‘of love’]

[mid-16C–mid-19C] a promiscuous man.

cock of the walk (n.) (also cock on the walk) [SE walk, a place or enclosure where poultry can exercise]

1. [late 18C+] an important man, occas. any creature.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

live at the sign of the cock’s tooth (v.)

a retort offered to anyone seen as ‘impudently’ asking where one lives.

that cock won’t fight (also that cat won’t fight, that dog won’t hunt)

[early 19C–1900s] a phr. used to denigrate the previous statement, ‘that won’t do’, ‘you must be joking’, ‘I’m not having that’.