Posted by Woodchuck on October 17, 2002
In Reply to: Coldcock posted by R. Berg on October 17, 2002
: : : : Anyone know the origin of "cold cocked"?
: : : From the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Edition:
: : : Main Entry: cold·cock
: : : Function: transitive verb
: : : Etymology: perhaps cock
: : : Date: circa 1927
: : : Main Entry: cock
: : : Date: 1575
: : : intransitive senses
: : : 1 : STRUT, SWAGGER
: : : 2 : to turn, tip, or stick up
: : : 3 : to position the hammer of a firearm for firing
: : : transitive senses
: : : 1 a : to draw the hammer of (a firearm) back and set for firing; also : to set (the trigger) for firing b : to draw or bend back in preparation for throwing or hitting c : to set a mechanism (as a camera shutter) for tripping
: : : 2 a : to set erect b : to turn, tip, or tilt usually to one side
: : : 3 : to turn up (as a hat brim)
: : : - cock a snook also cock snooks : to thumb the nose
: : ... though it's beyond me to see the relevance of any of Merriam Webster's definitions for cock to the meaning of "coldcock", as in to knock someone unconscious.
: Could sense 2b be the relevant one? The assailant tips the victim over. The victim is then out cold.
It's obviously 1a. Wile E. Coyote sets the trigger mechanism of the AcmeT Catapult. You know the rest.