Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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COCKS, n.pl.1 [kɔks]

1. Plantago lanceolata, the species of plantain gen. called Carl-doddie in Sc. Uls. 1880  W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
Children amuse themselves in summer with knocking off the heads of each other's cocks. This is called “fighting cocks.”

2. Luzula campestris, the wood rush. Ant. 1886  B. and H. 113:
In the last named locality [Belfast] Luzula campestris is known as “a kind of cocks,” no doubt from the superficial resemblanee of its black heads to those of P[lantago] lanceolata.

[The name seems to have arisen from the amusement indulged in with these plants (see quot. under 1 and cf. cock-fechters s.v. Cock, n.1, III.).]

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"Cocks n. pl.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jun 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/cocks_n_pl1>

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