One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A kind of bowler hat.
- ‘In fact, he always wore a greasy old billycock - greasy, I imagine, because of the melted butter seeping down to his collar band.’
- ‘Swaggering along in their check suits, gold chains, lumpy rings and billycocks, they were pointed out by name or exploit.’
- ‘The dog-collar seller tips his billycock and disappears, but his luckless companion, having fetched a small black object out of his knapsack, lingers.’
- ‘He wore a cap of the ‘billycock’ order, and it was in all respects a decentish cap, except that, in front of the brim, for the space of a hand's breadth or so, it was worn limp and greasy.’
- ‘Slaves wore a hat called a billycock, which was similar to the kind of hat that was worn by the British army.’
- ‘as I looked across the sea of tossing billycocks and rocking bonnets, my work, as I heard them give tongue, not once, but four times… I felt that I had secured Perfect Felicity.’
- ‘One could well imagine an urgent gathering of the ` The Royal & Ancient Order of Sticky Fellows’ with fresh candles in their billycocks, lit and mining tools akimbo; being convened before the Miner in Chief within minutes of my departure.’
- ‘He points out that the beard and headgear - top hats, billycock hats, or woolen stocking caps - are symbols of senior male status.’
- ‘The bowler acquired the nickname of a billycock, after Billy Coke, and if one visits Locks today and asks for a billycock they will know exactly what sort of hat you are referring to.’
Mid 19th century: said to be from the name of William Coke, nephew of Thomas William Coke, Earl of Leicester (1752–1842).
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