From Middle English cokolde, cokewold, cockewold, kukwald, kukeweld, from Old French cucuault; a compound of cucu (“cuckoo”) (some varieties of the cuckoo bird lay their eggs in another’s nest) and Old French -auld. Cucu is either a directly derived onomatopoeic derivative of the cuckoo's call, or from Latin cucūlus. Latin cucūlus is a compound of onomatopoeic cucu (compare Late Latin cucus) and the diminutive suffix -ulus. -auld is from Frankish *-wald (similar suffixes are used in some personal names within other Germanic languages as well; confer English Harold, for instance), a suffixal use of Frankish *wald (“power, mastery, dominion”), from Proto-Germanic *waldą (“might, power, authority”) (compare German Gewalt), from *waldaną (“to rule”), from Proto-Indo-European *wal- (“to be strong”). Appears in Middle English in noun form circa 1250 as cokewald. First known use of the verb form is 1589.
cuckold (plural cuckolds)
- A man married to an unfaithful wife, especially when he is unaware or unaccepting of the fact.
- Synonyms: cornuto, cuck; see also Thesaurus:cuckold
- Coordinate terms: cuckquean; see also Thesaurus:cuckquean
- 1546, François Rabelais, The Third Book, Chapter 36
- If I never marry, I shall never be a cuckold.
- 2001, Goran V. Stanivukovic, Ovid and the Renaissance Body, page 178:
- In the early English drama, no play better approximates Ovid's contemptuous portrait of the willing cuckold than does Thomas Middleton's Chaste Maid in Cheapside (ca. 1612).
- For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:cuckold.
- (zoology) A West Indian plectognath fish, Rhinesomus triqueter.
- (zoology) The scrawled cowfish, Acanthostracion quadricornis and allied species.
- (transitive) To make a cuckold or cuckquean of someone by being unfaithful, or by seducing their partner or spouse.