OED dating of "cock" = "penis"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Jun 24 01:26:11 UTC 2006

Someone wrote elsewhere suggesting a Chaucer-era instance of "cock" =
"penis".  Is it an antedating of the OED's 1618?  Or is it read
merely as the male fowl?  Or does the ambiguity of punning rule it
out of the OED?

>>The OED's earliest  cited instance of the word in this sense is 1618
>"The  Chaucer Songbook
>Celtic Music and Early Music for Harp and Voice
>10.  I Have a Gentil Cock"
>I remember hearing this as "I have a noble cock, it  wakes me up each
>morning..." in the musical years ago.
>Not actually  Chaucer, but of the era, I think:
>"I Have a Gentil  Cock
>I have a gentil  cock
>croweth me day
>he doth me risen early
>my matins for to  stay
>I have a gentil cock
>comen he is of great
>his comb is of  red coral
>his tail is of jet
>I have a gentil cock
>comen he is  of kind
>his comb is of red sorrel
>his tail is of inde
>his legs  be of azure
>so gentil and so small
>his spurs are of silver white
>into  the wortewale
>his eyes are of crystal
>locked all in amber
>and  every night he pertcheth him
>in my lady`s chamber"

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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