cock·​a·​ma·​my | \ ˌkä-kə-ˈmā-mē , ˈkä-kə-ˌmā-\
variants: or cockamamie

Definition of cockamamy

: ridiculous, incredible of all the cockamamy excuses I ever heard— Leo Rosten

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By the look and sound of it, cockamamy (also spelled "cockamamie") seems like an arbitrarily coined nonsense word-but a reasonable explanation for its origin exists. Supposedly, cockamamy is an altered form of the term decalcomania, which denotes a process of transferring pictures and designs from specially prepared paper to surfaces such as glass or porcelain. The word decalcomania comes from the combination of French décalquer, meaning "to copy by tracing," and -manie, meaning "mania." In the 1940s, painted strips of paper with images capable of being transferred to the skin were called "decals" or "cockamanies." They were naturally regarded by many as silly novelties. Hence, in time, the variant cockamamie came to be used as an adjective meaning "ridiculous."

First Known Use of cockamamy

1960, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cockamamy

perhaps alteration of decalcomania

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The first known use of cockamamy was in 1960

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English Language Learners Definition of cockamamy

US, informal : ridiculous or silly

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What made you want to look up cockamamy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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