"my Ghossips cock", 1641?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Apr 23 20:03:23 UTC 2008

Larry, the 1618 (I mistakenly wrote 1614) quotation (or the 1600
"Pistol's cock is up" pun that I didn't mention) I mentioned only to
indicate that the Brome quotation may possibly -- but I don't know --
be an early "penis", one that the OED might want to expose under
"cock".  It would be the second earliest in OED2. (I noticed it only
in passing, trying to suss out the meaning of "gossip" in the
1640s.)  Also, the Brome quotation appears *not* to be polite speech
-- note the "mould Cocklebread" and "clutterdepouch", and their other
quotations in the OED.


At 4/23/2008 03:36 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 2:26 PM -0400 4/23/08, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>What is the sense of "cock" in the following quotation (OED2, under
>>gossip, n., 2.a?
>>  1641 Brome Joviall Crew ii. (1652) D2b, He makes us even sick of
>>his sadness, that were wont to see my Ghossips cock to day; mould
>>Cocklebread; daunce clutterdepouch [etc.].
>>(I note that OED2 has "penis" from 1614.)
>Rght, but remember: "pudoris causa, not admissible in polite speech
>or literature".  In terms of antedating, we can push it back a bit
>farther.  Farmer & Henley cite Henry V (1600), II.i, which I assume
>is a reference to the pun in the following exchange.  (Note also
>Pistol's illeism in the relevant passage.)
>Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.
>Will you shog off? I would have you solus.
>'Solus,' egregious dog? O viper vile!
>The 'solus' in thy most mervailous face;
>The 'solus' in thy teeth, and in thy throat,
>And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy,
>And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!
>I do retort the 'solus' in thy bowels;
>For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,
>And flashing fire will follow.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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