Cock·​aigne kä-ˈkān How to pronounce Cockaigne (audio)
: an imaginary land of great luxury and ease

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The term "Cockaigne" comes from the Middle French phrase pais de cocaigne, which literally means "the land of plenty." The word was first popularized in a 13th-century French poem that is known in English as "The Land of Cockaigne." According to an early English translation of the work, in Cockaigne "the houses were made of barley sugar cakes, the streets were paved with pastry, and the shops supplied goods for nothing." Some have theorized that cocaigne derives from an earlier word related to "cake" or "cook," but its early history remains obscure.

Examples of Cockaigne in a Sentence

many gourmets still regard Paris as a culinary Cockaigne

Word History


Middle English cokaygne, from Middle French (pais de) cocaigne land of plenty

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Cockaigne was in the 13th century


Dictionary Entries Near Cockaigne

Cite this Entry

“Cockaigne.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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