cock(redirected from cocking)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to cocking: cocking a snook
Banbury story of a cock and a bull
A story that does not make sense or which rambles circuitously without apparent end. The old sailor, after several glasses of whiskey too many, began to tell some Banbury story of a cock and a bull, which none of us were able to decipher.
cock of the roost
An arrogant, conceited, or overly proud person, typically a man. He struts around campus like he's the cock of the roost, all because his dad is some politician.
be cocksure of (oneself)
To be completely certain of oneself or one's actions, to the point of overconfidence. You seem pretty cocksure of yourself—do you really know how to handle that machine?
See also: of
cock in the henhouse
The only male in an all-female environment. Getting a male teacher is a big deal when you go to an all-girls school! Finally, a cock in the henhouse! My grandpa always complains that he's a cock in the henhouse living here with my grandma, my mom, and my twin sister.
A wildly exaggerated or falsified story or explanation. When I questioned Wendy about her recent tardiness, she gave me some cock-and-bull story about how her train took the wrong track and she had to hitchhike to work from the station across town.
live like fighting cocks
To lead an extravagant life. Fighting cocks were typically well-fed, so as to increase their chances of success in a cock fight. A: "Did Tom and Stephanie really buy a mansion?" B: "Yes, and they've been living like fighting cocks ever since Tom inherited all that money."
cock a snook at someone
to show or express defiance or scorn at someone. He cocked a snook at the traffic cop and tore up the ticket. The boy cocked a snook at the park attendant and walked on the grass.
cock of the walk
someone who acts more important than others in a group. The deputy manager was cock of the walk until the new manager arrived. He loved acting cock of the walk and ordering everyone about.
a hard-to-believe, made-up story; a story that is a lie. Don't give me that cock-and-bull story. I asked for an explanation, and all I got was your ridiculous cock-and-bull story!
1. Lit. [for an explosive device] to explode. The fireworks all went off as scheduled. The bomb went off and did a lot of damage.
2. Lit. [for a sound-creating device] to make its noise. The alarm went off at six o'clock. The siren goes off at noon every day.
3. Fig. [for an event] to happen or take place. The party went off as planned. Did your medical examination go off as well as you had hoped?
(by oneself) to go into seclusion; to isolate oneself. She went off by herself where no one could find her. I have to go off and think about this.
go off half-cocked
Fig. to go into action too early or without thinking. (Originally refers to a flintlock or matchlock gun firing prematurely, before the trigger was pulled.) Don't go off half-cocked. Plan out what you're going to do. Bill went off half-cocked and told everybody he was running for the state legislature.
(into something) to go away to something; to depart and go into something. He went off into the army. Do you expect me just to go off into the world and make a living?
go off (with someone)
to go away with someone. Tom just now went off with Maggie. I think that Maria went off with Fred somewhere.
knock something into a cocked hat
Fig. to demolish a plan, a story, etc. I knocked his plans into a cocked hat. This bad weather has knocked everything into a cocked hat.
1. to explode or fire bullets We left the building just before the bomb went off. Fireworks were going off, signaling the end of the race. The gun went off near a whole bunch of kids.
2. to start to ring loudly or make a loud noise The alarm started going off in the middle of the night for no reason.
cock a snook(British old-fashioned)
to show that you do not respect something or someone by doing something that insults them (usually + at ) In the end he refused to accept his award, cocking a snook at the film industry for which he had such contempt.
the cock of the walk(British old-fashioned)
a man who acts as if he is more fashionable or important than other people He acts like the cock of the walk around the office.
a cock-and-bull story(informal)
a story or explanation which is obviously not true She told me some cock-and-bull story about her car breaking down.
go off at half-cock(old-fashioned) also go off half-cocked (old-fashioned)
to suddenly give your opinion without preparing what you are saying or understanding the subject you are talking about, often because you are angry You don't listen. You just go off at half-cock without even hearing the end of my sentence.
cock and bull story
An unbelievable tale that is intended to deceive; a tall tale. For example, Jack told us some cock and bull story about getting lost. This expression may come from a folk tale involving these two animals, or from the name of an English inn where travelers told such tales. W.S. Gilbert used it in The Yeomen of the Guard (1888), where Jack Point and Wilfred the Jailer make up a story about the hero's fictitious death: "Tell a tale of cock and bull, Of convincing detail full." [c. 1600]
cock a snook
Thumb one's nose, as in As soon as the teacher turned her back, the boys cocked a snook at her. This expression was first recorded in 1791 and the precise source of snook, here used in the sense of "a derisive gesture," has been lost. It is more widely used in Britain but is not unknown in America.
cock of the walk
A conceited, bossy person, as in Since his last promotion he's been acting like the cock of the walk-he's unbearable. This expression alludes to the rooster's proud strut about the barnyard, asserting his rule over hens and chicks. [Mid-1800s]
1. Explode, detonate; also, make noise, sound, especially abruptly. For example, I heard the gun go off, or The sirens went off at noon. This expression developed in the late 1500s and gave rise about 1700 to the related go off half-cocked, now meaning "to act prematurely" but originally referring to the slipping of a gun's hammer so that the gun fires (goes off) unexpectedly.
2. Leave, depart, especially suddenly, as in Don't go off mad, or They went off without saying goodbye. [c. 1600]
3. Keep to the expected plan or course of events, succeed, as in The project went off smoothly. [Second half of 1700s]
4. Deteriorate in quality, as in This milk seems to have gone off. [Late 1600s]
5. Die. Shakespeare used this sense in Macbeth (5:9): "I would the friends we missed were safely arrived.-Some must go off."
6. Experience orgasm. D.H. Lawrence used this slangy sense in Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928): "You couldn't go off at the same time...." This usage is probably rare today. Also see get off, def. 8.
7. go off on a tangent. See under on a tangent.
8. go off one's head. See off one's head. Also see subsequent idioms beginning with go off.
knock into a cocked hat
Debunk, render useless or unbelievable. For example, His findings knocked our theory into a cocked hat. This expression alludes to a style of hat with the brim turned up on three sides-the three-cornered (tricorne) hat worn by officers in the American Revolution-giving it a distorted look. [Early 1800s]
1. To go away: The children all went off to play at the park. Don't go off mad—let me explain!
2. To stop functioning. Used especially of electrical devices: The lights went off suddenly, and the performance began right away.
3. To occur, or be perceived as having occurred, in some particular manner: I think our party went off very well!
4. To adhere to the expected course of events or the expected plan: The project went off smoothly.
5. To stop taking some drug or medication: She went off painkillers a few weeks after the operation.
6. To make a noise; sound: The siren goes off every day at noon.
7. To undergo detonation; explode: If you push this red button, the bomb will go off.
8. go off on To begin to talk extensively about something: He went off on a series of excuses for his bad behavior.
9. go off on To berate someone directly and loudly: My boss really went off on me when she learned that I had forgotten to make the phone call.
1. n. the penis. (Taboo. Usually objectionable. Mainly in parts of the South, this refers instead to the female genitals.) He made some joke about a cock, but nobody laughed.
2. n. the female genitals. (In southern parts of the U.S.) The doctor heard her say something about her “cock” and had no idea what to expect during the examination.
mod. [someone or something] interfering with a man’s activities with a woman. You’re just a cock-blocking playa-hata.
mod. drunk. She’s too cocked to drive. You drive her home.
See also: cock
n. smegma; any nasty, smelly substance—real or imagined—that accumulates around the genitals, especially in athletes. (Usually objectionable.) Man, this stuff is vile. It smells like crotch-cheese.
go off half-cocked
in. to proceed without knowing all the facts. The boss went off half-cocked and exploded into a rage about the mess.
1. mod. unprepared. (see also go off half-cocked.) So he’s half-cocked. So what?
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. He just sat there, half-cocked and singing.
n. a large sausage. (Usually objectionable. Military.) Whack me off a piece of that horse cock, would ya, Clyde?
knock something into a cocked hat
tv. to demolish a plan, a story, etc. You’ve knocked everything into a cocked hat.
cock of the walk
An overbearing or domineering person.
cock asnook/snoot Chiefly British
To thumb one's nose: "[The clock] is set wrong and hung crooked, as if to cock a snook at the importance of time" (Kevin Crossley-Holland).
See also: cock
Prematurely. Like “flash in the pan,” “half-cocked” is a phrase that comes from old firearms. The firing mechanism of a flintlock pistol or musket could be set at full cock, or ready to be discharged, or half cock, which was the equivalent of having a safety on a revolver. A weapon that went off while half-cocked did so prematurely, just like someone who loses his temper without considering the facts or consequences of a situation. To act too soon, especially in a rash or impetuous fashion, is to go off half-cocked.