Codswallop Definition

Nonsense; specif., talk or writing that is foolish and insincere.
Webster's New World

(UK, slang) Senseless talk or writing; nonsense.


Origin of Codswallop

  • A frequently given etymology, rejected as a folk etymology, derives it from Hiram Codd, British soft drink maker of the 1870s, known for the eponymous Codd-neck bottle, with the suggestion that codswallop is a derisive term for soft drinks by beer drinkers, from Codd’s + wallop (“beer (slang)”) “Codd’s beer (sarcastic)”. This is widely rejected – there is no evidence that early uses had this sense, the slang wallop (“beer”) comes later than Codd’s lifetime, initial spellings (1963 in print) do not reflect such a derivation (*Codd’s wallop and *coddswallop with -dd- are not found), and there is an 80 year gap between proposed coinage and attestation.

    From Wiktionary

  • Various etymologies are proposed from some sense o(as in codpiece), from cod (“joke, imitation”) + wallop (“beer (slang)”), hence cod + wallop “imitation beer” (with interconsonantal -s- to ease pronunciation of -dw-), or from cod (“fish”) (some part of the fish, as from fishing industry).

    From Wiktionary

  • Unknown, attested from 1959 episode of UK TV series Hancock’s Half Hour. The writers (Galton and Simpson) state that the phrase was in general use when the show was broadcast. A national TV appeal in the UK in 2006 failed to find earlier references. Originally written (1963) codswallop, spelling cod's wallop is later.

    From Wiktionary

  • This is also the name given to the wooden device placed over the neck of a codd bottle and given a push (wallop) to dislodge the marble in the neck of the bottle. The word has also been used to describe the process of opening a codd bottle.

    From Wiktionary

  • Origin unknown

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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