02 June 2013

Word: Cockshut

Cockshut or Cock-shut

Evening twilight.

Probably deriving from the time when poultry go to rest and are shut up for the night although it is also suggested to derive from cockshoot, the time when woodcock 'shoot' or fly. In consequence of the latter it has been recorded as used to mean a net to catch woodcock, although this seems to be unusual and isn't recorded by the OED.

The first use recorded by the OED is 1594 in Shakespeare's Richard III.

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