An early "cock"?

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Jun 29 17:54:45 UTC 2006

That's assuming, of course, that OE "wæpnedmann" really DID
mean, literally, "bepenised person"--and not simply "armed
person" and by extension :) "guy with a metaphorical weapon
between his legs"!  How can we KNOW?

Surely lexicographers have formulated explicit policies to
determine when (or whether), for purposes of inclusion in a
dictionary, a stock metaphor becomes a denotative sense of a


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 13:26:53 -0400
>From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>Subject: Re: An early "cock"?
>as opposed to "member", "tool", "weapon", etc.
>But it does seem to be something of a slippery
>slope.  (Recall that one of the earlier English
>designators for 'man' (i.e. 'male human' or
>'vir'), back when a "man" was just a generic
>human, was "wæpned man", lit. 'weaponed/penised

The American Dialect Society -

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