cock·​a·​lo·​rum ˌkä-kə-ˈlȯr-əm How to pronounce cockalorum (audio)
plural cockalorums
: a boastful and self-important person
: boastful talk

Did you know?

The image of a rooster (a.k.a. cock) strutting confidently across the barnyard or belting out a triumphant crow has long been associated with brash self-confidence. It's an association that has left quite a mark on the English language, giving us "crow" ("to brag"), "cock" ("a self-important person"), and "cocky" ("overconfident"), just to name a few. "Cockalorum" (which may have derived from the obsolete Flemish word kockeloeren, meaning "to crow") is another example. It dates back at least as far as 1715, when it was used to describe the Marquis of Huntly - son of the Duke of Gordon, a Celtic Highlander chief who was himself known as the "Cock of the North." Presumably, the Marquis was not exactly known for his humility.

Examples of cockalorum in a Sentence

a boxer who was as famous for his prefight cockalorum as for his knockouts in the ring Muhammad Ali's reputation as boxing's most colorful cockalorum.

Word History


probably modification of obsolete Dutch dialect kockeloeren to crow, of imitative origin

First Known Use

circa 1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cockalorum was circa 1798


Dictionary Entries Near cockalorum

Cite this Entry

“Cockalorum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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