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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).

COCKS, [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. (1)).]

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"Cocks n. pl.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2022 <>



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