COCHIN-LEG. A name formerly given to elephantiasis, as it prevailed in Malabar. [The name appears to be still in use (Boswell, Man. of Nellore, 33). Linschoten (1598) describes it in Malabar (Hak. Soc. i. 288), and it was also called “St. Thomas’s leg” (see an account with refs. in Gray, Pyrard de Laval, Hak. Soc. i. 392).]

1757.—“We could not but take notice at this place (Cochin) of the great number of the Cochin, or Elephant legs.”—Ives, 193.

1781.—“… my friend Jack Griskin, enclosed in a buckram Coat of the 1745, with a Cochin Leg, hobbling the Allemand. …”—Letter from an Old Country Captain, in India Gazette, Feb. 24.

1813.—“Cochin- Leg, or elephantiasis.”—Forbes, Or Mem. i. 327; [2nd ed. i. 207].

COCKATOO, s. This word is taken from the Malay kakatuwa. According to Crawfurd the word means properly ‘a vice,’ or ‘gripe,’ but is applied to the bird. It seems probable, however, that the name, which is asserted to be the natural cry of the bird, may have come with the latter from some remoter region of the Archipelago, and the name of the tool may have been taken from the bird. This would be more in accordance with usual analogy. [Mr. Skeat writes: “There is no doubt that Sir H. Yule is right here and Crawfurd wrong. Kakak tuwa (or tua) means in Malay, if the words are thus separated, ‘old sister,’ or ‘old lady.’ I think it is possible that it may be a familiar Malay name for the bird, like our ‘Polly.’ The final k in kakak is a mere click, which would easily drop out.”]

1638.—“Il y en a qui sont blancs … et sont coeffés d’vne houpe incarnate … l’on les appelle kakatou, à cause de ce mot qu’ils prononcent en leur chant assez distinctement.”—Mandelslo (Paris, 1669), 144.

1654.—“Some rarities of naturall things, but nothing extraordinary save the skin of a jaccall, a rarely colour’d jacatoo or prodigious parrot. …”—Evelyn’s Diary, July 11.

1673.—“…Cockatooas and Newries (see LORY) from Bantem.”—Fryer, 116.

1705.—“The Crockadore is a Bird of various Sizes, some being as big as a Hen, and others no bigger than a Pidgeon. They are in all Parts exactly of the shape of a Parrot. … When they fly wild up and down the Woods they will call Crockadore, Crockadore; for which reason they go by that name.”—Funnel, in Dampier, iv. 265–6.

1719.—“Maccaws, Cokatoes, plovers, and a great variety of other birds of curious colours.”—Shelvocke’s Voyage, 54–55.

1775.—“At Sooloo there are no Loories, but the Cocatores have yellow tufts.”—Forrest, V. to N. Guinea, 295

[1843.—“… saucy Krocotoas, and gaudy-coloured Loris.”—Belcher, Narr. of Voyage of Samarang, i. 15.]

COCKROACH, s. This objectionable insect (Blatta orientalis) is called by the Portuguese cacalacca, for the reason given by Bontius below; a name adopted by the Dutch as kakerlak, and by the French as cancrelat. The Dutch also apply their term as a slang name to half-castes. But our word seems to have come from the Spanish cucaracha. The original application of this Spanish name appears to have been to a common insect found under water-vessels standing on the ground, &c. (apparently Oniscus, or woodlouse); but as cucaracha de Indias it was applied to the insect now in question (see Dicc. de la Lengua Castellana, 1729).

1577.—“We were likewise annoyed not a little by the biting of an Indian fly called Cacaroch, a name agreeable to its bad condition; for living it vext our flesh; and being kill’d smelt as loathsomely as the French punaise, whose smell is odious.”—Herbert’s Travels, 3rd ed., 332–33.

[1598.—“There is a kind of beast that flyeth, twice as big as a Bee, and is called Baratta (Blatta).”—Linschoten, Hak. Soc. i. 304.]

1631.—“Scarabaeos autem hos Lusitani Caca-laccas vocant, quod ova quae excludunt, colorem et laevorem Laccae factitiae (i.e. of sealing-wax) referant.”—Jac. Bontii, lib. v. cap 4.


“… from their retreats
Cockroaches crawl displeasingly abroad.''

Grainger, Bk. i.

c. 1775.—“Most of my shirts, books, &c., were gnawed to dust by the blatta or cockroach, called cackerlakke in Surinam.”—Stedman, i. 203.

COCKUP, s. An excellent tablefish, found in the mouths of tidal rivers in most parts of India. In Calcutta it is generally known by the Beng. name of begti or bhikti (see BHIKTY), and it forms the daily breakfast

  By PanEris using Melati.

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