One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A target for throwing sticks or stones at as a game.
- ‘‘We will make a cockshy of you if you don't look out,’ said one; and another actually threw a stone at him.’
- ‘The senator set up a number of cockshies and knocked them down again.’
- ‘The gypsies hold a kind of informal fair on the village green with cockshies, swings, and all the clumsy games that extract money from clumsy hands.’
- 1.1 An act of throwing something at a cockshy.
- 1.2 An object of ridicule or criticism.
- ‘By way of providing a cockshy for the first meeting of the strategic planning group, the vision sketched out below has been prepared.’
- ‘He has written, in his own words, a ‘cockshy’ of a book, cockshy being an old British word with the meaning here of writing ‘something to shoot at.’’
From the original use of a replica of a cockerel as a target.
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