See more words from the same year. Accessed 15 Nov. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! Log in Sign Up. Save Word. Definition of cockamamie. Synonyms for cockamamie Synonyms absurd , comical , derisive , derisory , farcical , laughable , ludicrous , pathetic , preposterous , ridiculous , risible , silly Visit the Thesaurus for More. First Known Use of cockamamie , in the meaning defined above. History and Etymology for cockamamie perhaps alteration of decalcomania.
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It is instead sometimes said to be Yiddish, but this turns out not to be the case. It reached the United States around and — to judge from the number of newspaper references in that year — became as wildly popular as it had earlier in France and Britain. The word was quickly Anglicised as decalcomania and in the s it became abbreviated to decal. There was a fashion for self-decoration at that period, using coloured transfers given away with candy and chewing gum. Anyone there who calls a cockamamie a decalcomania is stared at. Quite how the word changed sense to mean something incredible is least clear of all. An early sense was of something inferior or second-rate, which presumably referred to the poor quality of the cheap transfers. It might have been influenced by words such as cock-and-bull or poppycock. Anyone who adopted the craze for sticking transfers on oneself may have been regarded by adults or more serious-minded youngsters as silly — certainly the first sense was of a person who was ridiculous or crazy; the current sense came along a few years later.
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Outsets and onsets! He had some cockamamie idea about turning waste paper into animal food. Synonyms goofy mainly US informal. Stupid and silly. He had some cockamamie idea for turning hay into food for people. What is the pronunciation of cockamamie? Browse cock-a-leekie. Test your vocabulary with our fun image quizzes. Image credits. Word of the Day think big.
Definition of cockamamie adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Find the answers with Practical English Usage online, your indispensable guide to problems in English. Join our community to access the latest language learning and assessment tips from Oxford University Press!