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Cockaigne (Land of)

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An imaginary land of idleness and luxury. The subject of a burlesque, probably “the earliest specimen of English poetry which we possess.” London is generally so called, but Boileau applies the phrase to Paris. (See page 270, col. 2, Cockney.)

Allied to the German, kuchen, a cake. Scotland is called the “land of cakes” there is the old French word cocaigne, abundance. Compare Latin coquo, to cook, coquinaria, coquīna, etc.

⁂ Ellis, in his Specimens of Early English Poets (i. 83–95), has printed at length an old French poem called “The Land of Cockaign” (thirteenth century) where “the houses were made of barley sugar and cakes, the streets were paved with pastry, and the shops supplied goods for nothing.”

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Cock-horse
Cock Lane Ghost
Cock-pit
Cock Sure
Cock the Ears (To)
Cock the Nose
Cock up your Head [foot, etc.]
Cock your Eye (To)
Cock your Hat (To)
Cockade
Cockaigne (Land of)
Cockatrice
Cocked Hat (A)
Cocked-hat Club (The)
Cocker
Cockie or Cocky
Cockle Hat
Cockle Shells
Cockles
Cockles of the Heart
Cockledemoy (A)

See Also:

Cockaigne