Origin: Sp cucaracha, wood louse, cockroach, altered by assoc. with cock + roach
See cockroach in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: By folk etymology from obsolete cacarootch
Origin: , from Spanish cucaracha
Origin: , from cuca, caterpillar. Word History: The word for cockroach in Spanish is cucaracha, which should certainly set anyone with an eye for etymology to thinking. Users of English did not simply borrow the Spanish word, however. Instead, they made it conform in appearance to other English words: cock, the word for rooster, and roach, the name of a fish. We do not know exactly why these words were chosen other than their resemblance to the two parts of the original Spanish word. We do know that the first recorded use of the word comes from a 1624 work by the colonist John Smith. The form Smith used, cacarootch, is closer to the Spanish. A form more like our own, cockroche, is first recorded in 1657.
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