Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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COCK-A-BENDY, -BENDIE, n. comb. [′kɔkɑ′bɛndi]

1. “An instrument for twisting ropes, consisting of a hollow piece of wood held in the hand, through which a pin runs. In consequence of this pin being turned round, the rope is twisted” (Ayr. 1825 Jam.2, — bendy). Cf. Thraw-cock, idem.

2. Attrib. with boat: a boat made by folding a sheet of paper to the appropriate shape (Abd.22 1936). Abd. 1881  J. W. Ritchie Geordie Tough's Squeel (1931) 13:
An' syne we got oor leavin's oot Tae play oorsel's an' rin aboot . . . Tae sail a cock-a-bendie boat We made o' ony penny beuk.

[The idea of twisting or bending is implicit in both the above senses. For cock, cf. cock and pail s.v. Cock, n.1, II (3).]

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"Cock-a-bendy n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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