Cocky Definition. What does Cocky mean?


Cocky Definition

When we consider the root word of cocky, which is cock. The noun cock refers to a male bird and often a name used to describe a rooster. Have you ever seen a rooster and how they behave?

We often know a rooster by its crowing early in the morning and they do this to ensure another rooster or really anything or anyone knows this is their territory. Roosters are known for being aggressive, often the can become violent.

They are also considered to be self-confident and never back down from a fight and they stand tall and walk with a self-assertiveness.

When we add a “y” to the cock tobecome cocky the word is used to describe, in most cases people and sometimes it can be used to describe other animals.  The origins of the word date back to the mid 1500’s.


The word cocky is an adjective and is used to describe someone as being arrogant, self-asserted and conceited. 

Examples of “Cocky.”

  • I really don’t like your friend Bob, he is so cocky and rude!
  • The new guy in the IT department is really cocky. I think he needs to be taken down a few notches.


Ernie: Hey Bert, how did you do on the exam!

Bert: It was a breeze! I didn’t even study for it.

Ernie: Really? I found it a little tough and I glad I studied for it.

Bert: Well Ernie, I guess that is the difference between you and I.

Ernie: What do you mean?

Bert: Simply, some people have the smarts and other are born without.

Ernie: You know Ernie, you can be so cocky sometimes and downright arrogant.

Bert: Hey, I am who I am and I am not going to hide the fact that I am better at most things than most people. It is called being confident Ernie.

Ernie: There is confidence and then there is overconfidence!

Other words you can create: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc. (ex: mug – mugger)

Cockiness, Cockier, cockiest


He is so cocky.

He comes across as being so cocky.

What a cocky bastard.

She has a cockiness about her.

She is much cockier than her sister.

I think he is much cockier now than in the past. 

Related Phrases and Phrasal Verbs:

Puffed-up: this phrase as it relates to the word cocky, means that someone is behaving as they are the best and people are full of admiration of them.

Stuck up: is when someone is thinking and behaving that they are better and superior than other people.

Go after: in the context of cocky, we use this phrase to suggest that someone is over ambitious and will do whatever it takes to be successful.

Know it all: this describes someone who thinks they are better, smarter and more knowledgeable than everyone else and are constantly correcting people.

Loudmouth: a loudmouth is someone who is always talking, usually to make themselves look good and to brag or boast about themselves.

Overblown: this is used as an adjective to describe someone who inflates themselves and is pretentious.

Self-centered: someone who is self-centered only thinks about themselves and is egotistical.

Self-important: in the context of cocky, someone who is self-importanthas an exaggerated view of themselves and their abilities.

Related idioms:

Big-headed: someone who is big headed is arrogant and sees themselves as more important than they are.

Throwing their weight around: when someone is throwing their weight around they are being overly asserted and confident with people.

Too big for one’s britches: we use this phrase to describe someone who has an exaggerated sense of themselves and are generally conceited.

High and Mighty: we use this term to describe someone or a group of people who consider themselves as better, usually because they have power and money.

On an ego trip: when someone is on an ego trip is doing things, saying things and generally behaving in such a way that is trying to show that they are more important than others and/or more accomplished.

Swollen head: is a derogatory phrase used to describe someone who things they are smarter and generally more intelligent than others.  Often times someone has a swollen head after an important accomplishment.

Synonyms (other ways to say):

  • arrogant
  • conceited
  • overconfident
  • egotistical
  • boastful
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