cocktail, n. and adj.
Etymology: lit. ‘a tail like that of a cock’, or ‘a tail that cocks up’; the latter is the prevailing notion.
A. n. 3.
[A slang name, of which the real origin appears to be lost.]
(In sense .)
1929 E. Sitwell 20
The ghost haunting steamers And cocktail bars.
1934 W. Plomer xiv. 262
What the visitors took to be a cocktail bar proved..to be a gramophone.
1953 E. Smith 145
Various..‘cocktail-bars’ attached to well-known restaurants.
1933 74 228/2
A cocktail cabinet.
1958 3 Nov. 14/1
He can afford to buy, on hire purchase, telly, cocktail cabinet, and washing machine.
1907 E. Wharton iii. xxiv. 354
Leaving everywhere in her wake a trail of cigarette ashes and cocktail glasses.
1930 A. Bennett xxxi. 208
Cocktail glasses. Yes. Cocktails were the most profitable trade in the hotel.
1966 G. Greene i. ii. 53
I remember him raising a cocktail-glass to the light and showing me the delicate engraving of a bull's mask.
1927 E. Hemingway
Sometimes, after the cocktail hour.
1930 A. Bennett xiii. 78
‘Not quite the cocktail hour here, is it?’ said Sir Henry.
1966 13 Nov. (Colour Suppl.) 40/2
The Cocktail Hour, commonly known as drinks time, is a mysterious 6–8 p.m. limbo.
1939 G. Greene xi. 287
Racketeers of the brothel and dance-hall and cocktail lounge.
† cocktail powder n. Obs.
1865 8 July 30
Advertisements of quack medicines, patent skirts, cock-tail powders, plantation bitters.
1965 J. M. Cain
Flanking it were two sofas, a cocktail table between.
1929 D. L. Moore xiii. 242
A cocktail time dress.
1958 J. Betjeman 260
Your lives were good and more secure Than ours at cocktail time in Pinner.
1934 N. Marsh xv. 265
Rankin is bending over the cocktail tray..shaking up the last of the cocktail.
1958 M. Stewart vi. 73
The entry of Seddon with the cocktail tray interrupted us.
1926 D. L. Sayers x. 193
I am old-fashioned enough not to have adopted the modern practice of cocktail-drinking.
1936 D. Powell i. 59
Walter and Corinne..whispered in the kitchen over the cocktail-shaking.
1963 28 Mar. 570/1
Claudel does some improving and cocktail-shaking of the legends.
cocktail dress n. a dress suitable for wearing at a cocktail party.
1935 2 Oct. 17/4
An elaborate dinner ensemble tailored in heavy satin and with a full length skirt..makes a contrast to the cocktail dress which retains its skirt about 12 in. from the ground.
cocktail-mixer n. a container in which cocktails are vigorously shaken to mix them.
1904 ‘O. Henry’ iii. 47
A bullet-headed man Smith was, with an oblique, dead eye and the moustache of a cocktail-mixer.
cocktail onion n. a small pearl onion placed on a stick and served in certain cocktails.
1951 E. David 217
Pickled gherkins and baby cocktail onions.
cocktail party n. a party, esp. one intended for social conversation, at which cocktails are served, usually together with other alcoholic drinks, savoury snacks, canapés, etc.
1928 D. H. Lawrence vi. 67
She almost wished she had..made her life one long cocktail party and jazz evening.
1950 T. S. Eliot
The cocktail party.
1950 T. S. Eliot i. i. 12
The only reason for a cocktail party For a gluttonous old woman like me Is a really nice tit-bit.
cocktail pianist n. a player of light inconsequential (usually jazz-based) background music.
1962 21 July 68/2
Oscar Peterson (the best cocktail pianist in the business).
1965 ‘P. Quentin’ i. 13
But how few people remember cocktail pianists. They're usually considered as part of the furniture.
cocktail piano n. a piano on which light background music is played by a cocktail pianist.
1952 B. Ulanov xviii. 230
His cocktail piano records for Victor insinuate jazz.
1966 15 Oct. 8/4
This Saturday, he leaves the club as resident pianist and trio leader, and he isn't contemplating a ‘cocktail piano’ job.
cocktail sausage n. a very small sausage such as is served at cocktail parties.
Sausages... Cocktail—per glass 1/3.
¾ lb. cocktail sausages.
Cocktail Sausages flavoured with chilli.
1868 G. A. Sala in II. 401/1
I never possessed a pair of ‘cocktail-shakers’ myself, but a young officer in the Blues..did possess..a brace of tall silver mugs in which the ingredients of the beverage known as a ‘cocktail’..are mixed, shaken together, and then scientifically discharged.
1928 17 June 15/4
A grimacing waiter tilts his cocktail-shaker.
1965 W. H. Auden
Nobody I know would like to be buried with a silver cocktail shaker.
cocktail stick n. a small pointed stick on which snacks, sausages, onions, etc., are served at cocktail parties.
1937 ‘M. Innes’ i. 22
A luridly-tinged cherry speared on a cocktail-stick.
1953 R. Fuller v. 80
About thirty people stood and talked, holding glasses..and little sausages on cocktail sticks.
cocktail suit n. a suit appropriate for wearing at a cocktail party.
Back to top
This entry has not yet been fully updated (first published 1891).
In this entry:
In other dictionaries:
- My entries(1)
- cocksmanship, n.1976
- cock-sparrow, n.1598
- cockspur, n.1591
- cock-stone, n.1586
- cock-stride, n.1626
- cock-sure, adj. and ...1520
- ˌcocksureness, n.1878
- cockswain, n.
- cocksy | coxy, adj.1728
- cocktail, n. and adj.1600
- cocktail, v.1856
- cock-tailed, adj.1769
- cock-throppled, adj.1607
- cock-throttled, adj.1882
- cock-throwing, n.1663
- cock-tread, n.1573
- cock-up | cockup, n....1692
- cockwater, n.1611
- cock-web, n.a1642
- cockweed, n.1585
- cock-winged, adj.1897
- cocky, n.11693
- cocky, n.21887
- cocky, adj.1549
- cocky-leeky, n.a1777
- cockyolly, adj.1837
- co-climatary, adj.1652
- coco, n.1555
- coco, v.1936
- cocoa, n. and adj.1670
- cocoa cake, n.1862
- cocoa powder, n.1843
- cocobay, n.1788
- cocobolo, n.1849
- coco de mer, n.?1820
- cocodette, n.1867
- cocolas panter, n.1578
- co-conscious, adj. a...1903
- co-constituent, n.1846
- coconut, n.1589