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cockatoo

[kok-uh-too, kok-uh-too] /ˈkɒk əˌtu, ˌkɒk əˈtu/
noun, plural cockatoos.
1.
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.
2.
Australian.
  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
1610-1620
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cockatoo
Historical Examples
  • It is the only American parrot which resembles the cockatoo of Australia.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • This assertion may be proved by setting free a cockatoo in the plains of India.

  • And are you still longing for your freedom so much, cockatoo?

    The Cockatoo's Story Mrs. George Cupples
  • "I feel you are right there, Master Herbert," said the cockatoo.

    The Cockatoo's Story Mrs. George Cupples
  • "There is no need to be so angry, old lady," replied the cockatoo.

    The Cockatoo's Story Mrs. George Cupples
  • This communication he dispatched by cockatoo, who flew to get his bicycle.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
  • "But she will come to-morrow," said he, as cockatoo filled three glasses.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
  • cockatoo then returned by boat to the Gartley jetty and told his master.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
  • cockatoo had come down stream with The Firefly, and in this way had not been discovered.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
  • But cockatoo had hidden him well in the case, in the lid of which holes had been bored.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
British Dictionary definitions for cockatoo

cockatoo

/ˌkɒkəˈtuː; ˈkɒkəˌtuː/
noun (pl) -toos
1.
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
2.
(Austral & NZ) a small farmer or settler
3.
(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
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Word Origin and History for cockatoo
n.

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
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16
18
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