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srkdr68
Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:48:05 AM
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Why is the place where the pilot sits called a `cockpit'?
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 12:44:49 PM

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srkdr68 wrote:
Why is the place where the pilot sits called a `cockpit'?

What an excellent question; I had never before considered it. I thought immediately of fighter planes and cock-pits (as for fighting cocks) as a place of battle. Of course, on investigation, I am not quite right.

See: Online OED: Cockpit
Quote:
Origin:

late 16th century (cockpit (sense 2) ): from cock + pit. In the early 18th century the term was in nautical use, denoting an area in the aft lower deck of a man-of-war where the wounded were taken, later coming to mean 'the “pit” or well in a sailing yacht from which it was steered'; hence the place housing the controls of other vehicles ( cockpit (sense 1) , early 20th century)
richsap
Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 1:12:31 PM
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From the ancient Greek "Cockpitium" defined as "The seating place of a pilot in an aircraft"


I hope you realize I am joking here... I don't think the ancient Greeks had aircraft... Liar
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 2:21:31 PM

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If we stay in the naval operations...(from TFD)

In the Royal Navy, the term cockpit originally referred to the area where the coxswain was stationed. This led to the word being used to refer to the area towards the stern of a small decked vessel that houses the rudder controls, also the common location of the ship's surgeon during a naval battle.

In the Royal Navy in the days of sail, the Coxswain was a Petty Officer or Chief Petty Officer who commanded a Captain's or Admiral's barge. Later they were the senior Chief Petty Officer aboard a smaller vessel such as a corvette or submarine, who was responsible for the steering and also assumed the duties which would be performed by the Chief Boatswain's Mate and Master-at-Arms aboard larger vessels.
worldsclyde
Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 2:58:14 PM
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Not to mention that it is a place where roosters are put to fight. I read the wikipedia article too but, having worked in and around USAF fighters, I can see more of a link to the cock, (rooster).
Alias
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 2:43:33 AM
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Hi Srkdr68
I have the number for a good hairdresser should you require one!..Angel


In Qantas they have changed the name to Cookpit because at the rate they are going that is what is going to happen if they dont get their problems staying airborne sorted out soon!!
srkdr68
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 4:08:30 AM
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Location: India
RuthP wrote:
srkdr68 wrote:
Why is the place where the pilot sits called a `cockpit'?

What an excellent question; I had never before considered it. I thought immediately of fighter planes and cock-pits (as for fighting cocks) as a place of battle. Of course, on investigation, I am not quite right.

See: Online OED: Cockpit
Quote:
Origin:

late 16th century (cockpit (sense 2) ): from cock + pit. In the early 18th century the term was in nautical use, denoting an area in the aft lower deck of a man-of-war where the wounded were taken, later coming to mean 'the “pit” or well in a sailing yacht from which it was steered'; hence the place housing the controls of other vehicles ( cockpit (sense 1) , early 20th century)


One learned gentleman gave me this answer!!1

The word `cockpit' was in use long before the airplane was invented. Cock-fighting was a very popular sport in Europe. Men would dig a small pit, drop the two feathered contestants into it, and watch as the two birds tore into each other. The original meaning of `cockpit' was a small enclosure where birds fought. With the passage of time, however, the word took on a broader meaning: it began to refer to any place, usually small, where there was a lot of fighting. Belgium, for example, was referred to as `the cockpit of Europe'. When planes began to be used during the First World War, the place where the pilot sat began to be called a cockpit because all the action was taking place in the confined space.

Any more explanation welcome,to expand my knowledge.
Lawrence
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 6:12:07 AM
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I'm sure it's of naval origin. Don't forget, as well, that pilots were on ships long before they were in aeroplanes.
redgriffin
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 11:30:50 AM
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It is the central part of any room . It gets is meaning from Elizabethan Cock Fighting rings where the center of action was in the pit where the cocks fought or "the cockpit". In the Navy where the Coxswain stands is called the wheelhouse or the tiller. As with anything that the British named the name is half quip and half descriptive. The Cockpit of a Aircraft is where all the action takes place and where two "Cock's" fight.
RuthP
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 12:05:46 PM

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I actually think JJs mention of the coxswain on a ship and the related use of cockpit on a ship is probably the most germane.
redgriffin
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 1:36:43 PM
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RuthP wrote:
I actually think JJs mention of the coxswain on a ship and the related use of cockpit on a ship is probably the most germane.
And pry tell where is the ships cockpit in Twenty Years in the navy I've heard of the Bridge, the Wheelhouse, the Sick Bay and the Engine Room. Never a Cockpit except on the attached A/C's.
RuthP
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 1:46:38 PM

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redgriffin wrote:
RuthP wrote:
I actually think JJs mention of the coxswain on a ship and the related use of cockpit on a ship is probably the most germane.
And pry tell where is the ships cockpit in Twenty Years in the navy I've heard of the Bridge, the Wheelhouse, the Sick Bay and the Engine Room. Never a Cockpit except on the attached A/C's.

Hi red - The OED link in my first post speaks to this: ships in the 18th century, coming to mean the control room and then transferred to planes. They are not specific about the loss of use with respect to ships. JJs mention of the location of the coxswain seems extraordinarily reasonable; deponent sayeth naught about cockpit to coxswain or vice-versa.
intelfam
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 1:50:10 PM
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Hi redgriffin; just looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary and the only nautical reference is that mentioned before, the orlop, place where the wounded are treated. at one time the junior officers quarters. Try it, www.oed.com and log in using trynewoed as both username and password. It's a free trial period for the new edition. What fun!
intelfam
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 1:52:00 PM
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HI RuthP can't find the bit bout control room, what am I missing?
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 2:44:08 PM

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From TFD Encyclopedia, again:

cockpit
1. the compartment in a small aircraft in which the pilot, crew, and sometimes the passengers sit
2. the driver's compartment in a racing car
3. Nautical
a. an enclosed or recessed area towards the stern of a small vessel from which it is steered
b. (formerly) an apartment in a warship used as quarters for junior officers and as a first-aid station during combat
4. an enclosure used for cockfights

Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


cockpit

(aerospace engineering)
A space in an aircraft or spacecraft where the pilot sits.

(naval architecture)
A sunken area on the deck of a small vessel, near the stern, from which the craft is steered.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Cockpit of a small sailing boat:





RuthP
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 4:09:58 PM

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intelfam wrote:
HI RuthP can't find the bit bout control room, what am I missing?

Hi intelfam,

That came from the free online OED: Free online OED: Cockpit (Not the free-trial full OED).

I quoted their origins in my first post here. They were discussing 17th century 'Cockpit' on ships as being the location to which wounded were removed and that this became the location from which the ship was steered.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 5:54:47 PM

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I think we need some expert of naval history and old ships here. The term cockpit in a 17th century ship may have come of the coxswain's cabin or younger officer's room down under the deck - capacious, clean and safe enough to take care of wounded and ill... But how could that be mixed with the place where the ship was navigated and controlled?

Let's think: the steersman didn't have to see. The others took care of that and gave him the orders how to steer. But the steersman needed a shelter against wind, spatter, scorch of the sun... Cockpit was a shelter. Did they copy the name of the cabin for first aid to the shelter for the steersman?

Only guessing here with my limited knowledge of both Royal Navy history and this language ;-)
Whistle (MTC, despite of the emoticon I'm all serious)
intelfam
Posted: Saturday, January 29, 2011 6:00:34 AM
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Hmmm, given that the orlop of a ship was placed fairly low down and at the rear, I wonder if the steering gear were in that space as well? Now you mention it JJ, I have known the well in a small boat (not ship) referred to as a cockpit. mea culpa
excaelis
Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2011 1:23:15 PM

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I don't know how they can concentrate on flying with all those feathers floating around.


As to how the ship to plane transfer of the term came about, perhaps it has to do with the fact that much early flying was supervised by naval personnel. The Spitfire started its life as a seaplane.
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