coxcomb

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English cokke’s comb.

Noun[edit]

coxcomb (plural coxcombs)

  1. (historical) The cap of a court jester, adorned with a red stripe.
  2. The fleshy red pate of a rooster.
  3. (by extension) A foolish or conceited person; a dandy.
    Synonyms: fool, popinjay
    • a. 1746, Jonathan Swift; Thomas Sheridan, compiler, “VII. Another, Written upon a Window where there was No Writing before.”, in The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, D.D., Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin. [] In Nineteen Volumes, volume VII, new corrected and revised edition, London: Printed [by Nichols and Son] for J[oseph] Johnson [et al.], published 1801, OCLC 6772664, page 361:
      Thanks to my stars, I once can see / A window here from scribbling free! / Here no conceited coxcombs pass, / To scratch their paltry drabs on glass; / Nor party-fool is calling names, / Or dealing crowns to George and James.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, chapter XIII, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume III, London: A[ndrew] Millar [], OCLC 928184292, book VII, page 112:
      [F]or tho' I am afraid the Doctor was a little of a Coxcomb, he might be nevertheleſs very much of a Surgeon.
    • 2010, Pseudonymous Bosch, This Isn't What It Looks Like:
      And she nearly started a fight between two young fops in plumed hats and flouncy collars: "Clay-brained coxcomb!" "Mewling milk-livered maggot!"

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