View Full Version : Why do they call it cockpit?

21st Mar 2003, 22:11
The other day a passenger asked me why do we call it a cockpit. I wonder where does "cockpit" originate.

Genghis the Engineer
21st Mar 2003, 22:30
Well I'll offer my theory, no idea if it's right.

Once upon a time, when our entertainment was less sophisticated, we used to fight animals against each other for sport. This was often done in a specific construction, commonly a hole. The village I grew up in had a strange shaped and rather deep pond called the "cockpit". If you hunt around quite a few English towns and villages had cockpits, the names of which linger. Whether chickens get a better time of it now is of course debatable.

I think it became a nickname for the "command" area of boats as they started to be enclosed, and eventually the accepted name. A small boat still has a cockpit.

And as aeroplanes appeared, we borrowed a great deal from mariners, including the gold bars on your shoulder. I think we also borrowed the term "cockpit".

Well that's my theory, for which I've no proof at all.


Lu Zuckerman
22nd Mar 2003, 01:14
Late 16th century. Originally pit for cockfighting, later place for treating wounded below decks in warship (from the association of blood and noise), later well at yacht stern where helm is.]


22nd Mar 2003, 03:37

Mac the Knife
30th Mar 2003, 01:38
Because there are a couple of pricks in it? :} :* :yuk: :D

[Sorry, had to get it in before someone else did....]

Notso Fantastic
30th Mar 2003, 05:33
I understand now more ladies are present in the Flightdeck, the term 'cockpit' is to be banned and 'box-office' will now come into use!

31st Mar 2003, 07:40
On Tech Log? Surely not! Good to see all the original replies (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=44195&highlight=Cockpit) are still going strong.

3rd Apr 2003, 00:04

Just occurred to me that 'cockpit' can be broken up into 'cock' and 'pit' (gasp!).

Now, in Swedishm 'pit(t)' means 'd*ck' and obviously 'cock' is 'd*ck' in English as well.

So could it have been named for the two 'd*ckheads' that reside there? :} :p

Bally Heck
3rd Apr 2003, 06:10
There is an EC directive in the making, or it may be JAA, but in future it will be known as the "Genital Pit".

4th Apr 2003, 09:44
... at the risk of being a party pooper, perhaps we should consider those of our members who might take exception to the line of discussion and let the topic die a natural death ?