noun[mass noun] British informal
- Is it a spiritually enriching pursuit or load of old codswallop?
- We could have been giving him a load of old codswallop.
- That's actually a load of old codswallop - the Belgians brew the best beer in the world.
1960s: perhaps named after Hiram Codd, who invented a bottle for fizzy drinks (1875); the derivation remains unconfirmed.
Meaning ‘nonsense or drivel’, codswallop seems to be a fairly recent addition to English, with the earliest recorded use appearing in a 1959 script for the radio and TV comedy Hancock's Half Hour. It is sometimes said that the word comes from the name of Hiram Codd, who in the 1870s invented a bottle for fizzy drinks, although the evidence for this is sketchy. The wallop part may relate to the word's use as a 1930s slang term for beer or other alcoholic drink.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: cods|wal¦lop
Definition of codswallop in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.