cuckoo


cuckoo
   1. a male profligate
   Despite the derivation from the bird which makes use of nests built by other birds, he does not necessarily cuckold anyone:
    The cuckoo then on every tree Mocks married men. (Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost)
   To cuckold the parson was to copulate not with his wife but with your betrothed before the wedding.
   2. mentally unbalanced
   The cuckoo has the reputation of being a silly bird:
    Old defectors, old spies, they get a bit cuckoo, (le Carré, 1980)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cuckoo — Cuck oo (k[oo^]k [=oo]), n. [OE. coccou, cukkow, F. coucou, prob. of imitative origin; cf. L. cuculus, Gr. ????, Skr. k?ki?a, G. kuckuk, D. koekoek.] (Zo[ o]l.) A bird belonging to {Cuculus}, {Coccyzus}, and several allied genera, of many species …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cuckoo — [ko͞o′ko͞o΄; ] also [ kook′o͞o] n. [ME < OFr coucou, cucu, echoic of the bird s cry] 1. any of a family (Cuculidae, order Cuculiformes) of birds with a long, slender body, grayish brown on top and white below: many, including the European… …   English World dictionary

  • cuckoo — (n.) mid 13c., from O.Fr. cocu cuckoo, also cuckold, echoic of the male bird s mating cry (Cf. Gk. kokkyx, L. cuculus, M.Ir. cuach, Skt. kokilas). Slang sense of crazy (adj.) is American English, 1918, but noun meaning stupid person is first… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cuckoo — ► NOUN ▪ a grey or brown bird known for the two note call of the male and for the habit of laying its eggs in the nests of small songbirds. ► ADJECTIVE informal ▪ crazy. ORIGIN Old French cucu, imitative of its call …   English terms dictionary

  • Cuckoo — For other uses, see Cuckoo (disambiguation). Cuckoo s nest redirects here. For other uses, see Cuckoo s nest (disambiguation). Cuckoos Yellow billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) …   Wikipedia

  • cuckoo — /kooh kooh, kook ooh/, n., pl. cuckoos, v., cuckooed, cuckooing, adj. n. 1. a common European bird, Cuculus canorus, of the family Cuculidae, noted for its characteristic call and its brood parasitism. 2. any of several other birds of the family… …   Universalium

  • cuckoo — 1. adjective /ˈkʊkuː,ˈkuːkuː/ Crazy; not sane. 2. noun /ˈkʊkuː,ˈkuːkuː/ a) Any of various birds, of the family Cuculidae (from Latin cuculus cuckoo), famous for laying its eggs in the nests of other species; but especially the Common Cuckoo,… …   Wiktionary

  • cuckoo — /ˈkʊku / (say kookooh) noun 1. any of various birds of the widespread family Cuculidae, including the bronze cuckoos, many of which lay eggs in the nests of other birds which then raise the cuckoo s young, as the fan tailed cuckoo, Cacomantis… …   Australian English dictionary

  • cuckoo — n. & adj. n. any bird of the family Cuculidae, esp. Cuculus canorus, having a characteristic cry, and depositing its eggs in the nests of small birds. predic.adj. sl. crazy, foolish. Phrases and idioms: cuckoo clock a clock that strikes the hour… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cuckoo — cuck·oo || kÊŠkuː n. European songbird; bird related to the European cuckoo bird; call of the cuckoo bird characterized by two notes ; (Slang) crazy person, goofball, foolish person adj. of or pertaining to the cuckoo bird; resembling the… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cuckoo — I. noun (plural cuckoos) Etymology: Middle English cuccu, of imitative origin Date: 13th century 1. a largely grayish brown European bird (Cuculus canorus) that is a parasite given to laying its eggs in the nests of other birds which hatch them… …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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