Cock horse

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Jun 25 13:20:04 UTC 2006

At 6/25/2006 02:24 AM, you wrote:
>BTW, what is that "cock horse" that was ridden to Banbury Cross? Is it
>an old term for "stallion" or something?
>-Wilson Gray

[It is not clear whether 'cock-horse' was originally the name of a
plaything, as it appears to have been by 1577, or whether the phrase
'on (a-)cock-horse' merely meant in a position (as e.g. on the knee)
which was likened to that of being on horseback. The transferred
sense evidently referred to the elation of a child in such a position.]

So says OED2.  (Eudora says "cock [horse]' is likely to offend the
average reader.)

The American Dialect Society -

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