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cock a corruption of, or euphemism for “God: Cock's passion,” THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, iv. 1. 103 ; “By cock,” HAMLET, iv. 5. 59. (This irreverent alteration of the sacred name was formerly very common: it occurs at least a dozen times in Heywood'sEdward the Fourth, where one passage is
Herald. Sweare on this booke, King Lewis, so help you God,
You meane no otherwise then you haue said.
King Lewis. So helpe me Cock as I dissemble not.”
Part ii. sig. N 4, ed. 1619. )

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    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 4.5
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