cockatoo

cockatoo

[kok-uh-too, kok-uh-too]
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.
a.
a person who owns and works a small farm or ranch.
b.
Slang. a lookout posted by criminals or the operators of illegal gambling games.

Origin:
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

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World English Dictionary
cockatoo (ˌkɒkəˈtuː, ˈkɒkəˌtuː)
 
n , 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.  informal (Austral) a lookout during some illegal activity
 
[C17: from Dutch kaketoe, from Malay kakatua]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cockatoo
1616, from Du. kaketoe, from Malay kakatua, possibly echoic, or from kakak "elder brother or sister" + tua "old." Also cockatiel (1880), from Du. dim. kaketielje (1850), which is perhaps influenced by Portuguese.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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