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From Middle English puttock, puttok, potok, puttoc, of uncertain origin; perhaps representing an unattested Old English *putta (hawk) +‎ -ock; or perhaps from Old English *pūthafoc (literally pout-hawk), equivalent to pout (a kind of fish) +‎ hawk. Compare also pout (a young bird), poult.


puttock (plural puttocks)

  1. (now Britain regional) Any of several birds of prey including the red kite, buzzard or marsh harrier
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.xi:
      Some like to hounds, some like to Apes, dismayd, / Some like to Puttockes, all in plumes arayd: / All shap't according their conditions []
  2. (nautical) The futtock

Derived terms[edit]