Q: "coocally", adj. in 1669?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Dec 12 00:46:12 UTC 2010

 From a court case in the Plymouth Colony, 1669:

"Charles Stockbridg[e], and Abigaill, his wife, complained against
Joseph Turner, in an action of defamation and slaunder ... for that
the said Turner ... hath reported and said that the said Charles
Stockbridge is a coocally rogue, and that Abigaill, his wife, is as
very a strumpett as any in New England, and that the said Abigaill is
a brasen faced whore, and that her husband is a coocally raskall, and
that he would proue him soe."

("Turner did ... owne the charges", and the jury awarded the
plaintiff "one hundred pounds damages, and the cost of the suite".  A
*very* considerable amount, and must reflect the seriousness of the
charges.  And one is reminded of Jon's "Bad Girls Ride Again" slurs.)

What is "coocally"?  I suspect "cuckoldly", "Having the character or
qualities of a cuckold; often a mere term of reviling or abuse.",
which the OED dates from 1594.  Supported by Joseph Turner saying "he
would proue him soe", presumably easily because his wife was a
"strumpett" and "whore".


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list