The word "Cockpunch".
April 24, 2008 10:16 PM   Subscribe

What is the etymology of the word "cockpunch"?

I've only seen this word used quite recently, on the Internet of course. I don't remember its use prior to even a year or two ago.

Has anyone seen or heard the term used outside of the Internet?

Was it used back in the dark ages of Usenet?
posted by Tube to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It might be a stretch to say The Onion invented it, but I'm sure they popularized it.
posted by O9scar at 11:06 PM on April 24, 2008

UrbanDictionary's first entry on it is from 2003, which doesn't predate O9scar's Onion link.

I'm unclear if the term is uttered in it, but the movie Superbad featured cockpunching, which may be somehow related to its recent celebrated status.

The first reference I could find on Usenet was from 2003, so it does not seem to be a "dark ages" term.
posted by Remy at 11:08 PM on April 24, 2008

For what it's worth, my college friends and I used it as far back as 2000-2001. I figured one of us had come up with it, I'd never heard it used outside of our circle. But I'm sure it sprung up independently among many equally-obnoxious social groups.
posted by naju at 11:13 PM on April 24, 2008

Response by poster: naju, your profile lists you as being from California, was that where you were using it?
posted by Tube at 11:54 PM on April 24, 2008

No, this was in Chicago. Practically my entire fraternity house was using it during that period (yeah, I know, it figures this was a fraternity.) I suppose when 40+ people are using the word, it has a chance of spreading.
posted by naju at 12:34 AM on April 25, 2008

In discussions of the CCG I play, we often use the similar term "nutpunch" to describe a terrible deck idea.
As in "Why don't you just punch yourself in the nuts for 2 hours instead?"
posted by jozxyqk at 5:49 AM on April 25, 2008

i heard the term used at poker tables in las vegas a couple of years ago. generally involving some brutal beats, and the offer of "free cockpunches at this table"

so, it's definitely escaped from the internet. (although it was a table full of geeky folks)
posted by rmd1023 at 6:14 AM on April 25, 2008

Beats me, but in the 90's we used it to refer to a move in the arcade game Mortal Kombat, wherein - unable to pull off a proper finishing move - the still-active player drops to one knee and punches the dazed character in the groin, thus finishing him and ending the match.

That was in the early to mid-90's, and I am certain that we did not invent it. Methinks the term has been around for ages.
posted by kaseijin at 6:14 AM on April 25, 2008

...embarrassing aside: we even used to pull off said move in MK by mimicking that "toasty" voice, but saying "cock puuuunch!"....
posted by kaseijin at 6:15 AM on April 25, 2008

Now that I get to thinking about it, though, I would not be at all surprised if the term originated from fighting games. Maybe the original Street Fighter crowd? Maybe older?
posted by kaseijin at 6:17 AM on April 25, 2008

I don't think a colloquialism like this would have a single origin. Punch folks in the groin has been around for quite some time. I'm sure that many people have used terms like "cockpunch," "dickbash," "junksmash" etc. for quite some time. Why it became more popular that other variations is probably just a combination of coincidence and the Internet fixating on a "favourite."
posted by Nelsormensch at 7:09 AM on April 25, 2008

The vulgarity-verb/noun combo is awesome and common. I think it would be hard to pin down. I first heard/read cockpunch on back in 2004. Other faves:

posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:09 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

The oldest citation for cockpunch on Google Groups is August 2003. cock punch comes up with no hits before March of this year; that seems unlikely to me, but I don't know how Google Groups deals with phrases.
posted by Nelson at 9:22 AM on April 25, 2008

I'm sure that we used this in college (circa 1994-1999). Especially in this context (at a party):
1: "Would you like a cup of cockpunch?"
2: "What's cockpunch?"

you can guess the inevitable conclusion...
posted by kookywon at 9:44 AM on April 25, 2008

Used it 90-94 in college, western MA. Well, I probably didn't hear it until 92 I guess.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:07 PM on April 25, 2008

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