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Sep 4, 2020
This week’s theme
Words with horse-related origins

This week’s words
wheel horse
caballine
horse's mouth
chivalrous
cock-horse

cock-horse
Illustration: William Wallace Denslow, 1901

This week’s comments
AWADmail 949

Next week’s theme
Eponyms
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

cock-horse

PRONUNCIATION:
(KAHK-hors)

MEANING:
adverb: Mounted with a leg on each side.
noun: A hobby horse.

ETYMOLOGY:
From cock (rooster) + horse, perhaps from the strutting of a rooster. Earliest documented use: 1566.

NOTES:
The best-known use of the term is in this nursery rhyme:
Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.
As in this nursery rhyme, the term is often used in contexts where a child is riding a hobby horse. The use of the term in today’s usage example though is not as innocent as it sounds. We’ll leave it at that.

USAGE:
“‘Do you want to ride a cock-horse today, Johnny?’ she asked.”
Jak. E. Rander; An Eye for an Eye; Xlibris; 2012.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy. -Ivan Illich, philosopher and priest (4 Sep 1926-2002)

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