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A cockroach.



From Spanish cucaracha, from cuca (butterfly caterpillars), of onomatopoeic origin; see also Greek κόκκυξ (kókkux) and Late Latin cucus. Influenced, via folk etymology, by cock and roach. Doublet of cucaracha.





cockroach (plural cockroaches)

  1. A black or brown straight-winged insect of the order Blattodea.
    Synonym: (US) roach
    • 1887, Harriet W. Daly, Digging, Squatting, and Pioneering Life in the Northern Territory of South Australia, page 121:
      Then there were cockroach hunts; we chased them out of their haunts, where at night they busily devoured currants, jam, and sugar; in fact their diet was far more varied than ours, for they made plentiful meals off our boots, the coverings of our books, and any stray pieces of flannel that came in their way.
  2. (slang, offensive) A person or a member of a group of people regarded as undesirable and rapidly procreating.
  3. (Australia, slang, derogatory, humorous, especially used in rugby league) A person from New South Wales.
  4. (Australia, slang, obsolete) A hard lump of brown sugar.

Derived terms



  • Bislama: kakros
  • Tok Pisin: kokoros
  • Maltese: kokroċ



Further reading