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  1. a fowl that has been dressed and split open for grilling.
verb (used with object)
  1. to prepare and roast (a fowl) in this manner.
  2. to insert or interpolate, especially in a forced or incongruous manner: Additional information has been spatchcocked into the occasional random footnote.

Origin of spatchcock

1775–85; apparently alteration of spitchcock; popular interpretation as shortening of dispatch cock is probably specious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for spatchcock


  1. a chicken or game bird split down the back and grilledCompare spitchcock
verb (tr)
  1. to interpolate (words, a story, etc) into a sentence, narrative, etc, esp inappropriately

Word Origin

C18: perhaps variant of spitchcock eel when prepared and cooked
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