Sunday, September 26, 2004

Nannicock, and nothing else

I've probably mentioned, at some point, that I get emailed the word of the day from AskOxford. Last Sunday the word was nannicock. Apparently this is such a rare and obsolete word the OED does not even give a meaning for it. Instead they have this quote from 1600: "Hee that doth wonder at a Weathercocke ... And is in loue with euery Nannicocke.".

I should note that this entry, or lack of it, is from the Second Edition, when the Third Edition is published it will have a slightly updated entry, giving nannicock a definition. The meaning from the new edition is: As a term of contempt: a young woman; (more generally) a fool. They still have no real idea of the etymology. Although they do have a second quote, from 1935 this time: Was it well done to entrust my borders to this nannicock, for Zayana to make use of as the monkey do the cat's foot?" (For those of you as uneducated as myself the monkey/cat's foot reference comes from an old proverb in which a monkey tricks a cat into retrieving chestnuts from a fire. The monkey got his chestnuts, the cat got a burnt paw. I can only suppose that this fable was the inspiration for Sir Edwin Landseer's The Cat's Paw. Google knows everything.)

Somehow I'd managed to miss this email until today. To rectify this oversight, I have now made it part of my life's mission to reintroduce the, frankly excellent, word into common usage. Although I have to say I think we can do rather better than the draft definition in the OED. Without further ado here are my humble suggestions:

nannicock

A fool: A man who is so feeble of mind that he employs a woman — a nanny — to keep him informed as to the location of his penis.

nannicock

An inanimate bird watcher: a bird watcher who indulges in the sport of watching inanimate birds, i.e. stuffed birds, bird statues and weathercocks. In recent use it has been extended to include all those people who indulge in pointless, trivial pastimes.

nannicock

An ineffectual man: a man who spends so much time playing with his penis, that he has no time to attend to anything else.

nannicock

A daydreamer: one whose mind is as flighty as a female bird.


If you have a better definition, then please feel free to click on the little comment button below and share it.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

nannicockAn exclamation on discovering that one's new Thai nanny may not be all that she seems.

Anonymous said...

Nannicock- bull crap