Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[kok-uh-too, kok-uh-too] /ˈkɒk əˌtu, ˌkɒk əˈtu/
noun, plural cockatoos.
any of numerous large, noisy, crested parrots of the genera Cacatua, Callocephalon, Calyptorhynchus, etc., of the Australasian region, having chiefly white plumage tinged with yellow, pink, or red: popular as a pet.
  1. a person who owns and works a small farm or ranch.
  2. Slang. a lookout posted by criminals or the operators of illegal gambling games.
Origin of cockatoo
Central Moluccan
1610-20; < Dutch kaketoe < Malay kakatua, perhaps etymologizing alteration of Central Moluccan jaka any psittacine bird, by association with Malay kakak sibling, kakak tua older sibling); spelling copies cock1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cockatoo
Historical Examples
  • I'll go, and I'll guarantee to get the cockatoo without expense other than the cost of running her.

    The Adventure Club Afloat Ralph Henry Barbour
  • And are you still longing for your freedom so much, cockatoo?

    The Cockatoo's Story Mrs. George Cupples
  • The plumage is entirely black, but has all over it the curious powdery white secretion characteristic of cockatoo.

    The Malay Archipelago Alfred Russell Wallace
  • cockatoo then returned by boat to the Gartley jetty and told his master.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
  • cockatoo had hit the truth about the thumbs, for no ape can make them go around, only in and out straight to the palm.

    The Sa'-Zada Tales William Alexander Fraser
  • cockatoo, however, assuredly will be hanged, and a good job too.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
  • One day the cockatoo got his chain entangled, and Miss Kitty promptly advanced to put it right.

  • But cockatoo had hidden him well in the case, in the lid of which holes had been bored.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
  • "We can squeeze eight into the cockatoo, if we have to," said Steve.

    The Adventure Club Afloat Ralph Henry Barbour
  • The cockatoo was crushed under the cabin skylight and had to be killed.

British Dictionary definitions for cockatoo


/ˌkɒkəˈtuː; ˈkɒkəˌtuː/
noun (pl) -toos
any of various parrots of the genus Kakatoe and related genera, such as K. galerita (sulphur-crested cockatoo), of Australia and New Guinea. They have an erectile crest and most of them are light-coloured
(Austral & NZ) a small farmer or settler
(Austral, informal) a lookout during some illegal activity
Word Origin
C17: from Dutch kaketoe, from Malay kakatua
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cockatoo

1610s, from Dutch kaketoe, from Malay kakatua, possibly echoic, or from kakak "elder brother or sister" + tua "old." Also cockatiel (1880), from Dutch diminutive kaketielje (1850), which is perhaps influenced by Portuguese. Spelling influenced by cock (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cockatoo

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cockatoo

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for cockatoo