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How Cockpit in Airplane Got Its Name ?

Commercial Airliner in Flight
Last month I went home after a very long time (For those who don’t know I am working in Hyderabad). While in flight I was taking mental shots of the natural beauty outside when a casual remark of a co-passenger drew my attention. It was a young boy who was asking his dad why a “cockpit” is called a “cockpit”.

His dad was at his wits end to answer this obvious but tricky question. His father looked at other co-passengers for some help but it seemed that everyone was bowled by this googly from that young boy. Isn’t it strange that children come up with such small questions that look so trivial to us that we never care to think of them?

That question stayed on my mind all the way to home. So as soon as I got some time I decided to do some research on this. And I must say, what I found is quite interesting.

The word cockpit originated from cock-fighting !! In olden days cock-fight was a very famous sport. I am sure many of you must have watched it in some old movies also. A small pit was dug in which two cocks were left to fight. This was known as cockpit. With passage of time, this term began to be used for a small place where there was a lot of fighting. During the First World War when fighter planes were used for bombarding, the place where the pilots sat got the name cockpit because it was a small place where a lot of action/fighting took place. The name became so famous that even now it is called cockpit.

It is for the same reason that Belgium is called cockpit of Europe, because it has been the site of many European battles.

Isn’t it interesting how things/places get their names ? Do you know interesting  origins of some other names ? Share it with us through comment form below.

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21 Responses to How Cockpit in Airplane Got Its Name ?

  1. Vinayak January 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    Great post
    Cockpit got its name by cockfighting
    didn't knew that
    Subscribing ur blog

  2. Anshul January 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    @ Vinayak
    Thanks buddy.. well I was also amazed by this fact… funny how such obvious names have such weird origins… thanks for subscribing…

  3. Eva Gallant January 23, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    I did not know that! Interesting!

  4. Anshul January 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    I think most of us were unaware of this fact !!

  5. Anonymous January 24, 2010 at 3:58 am #

    Interesting – but would suggest you to improve on your writing skills. Subject was good but your writing skills were really very basic or just normal.

    And working for Deloitte – I would expect a littl' more from you !!

  6. Sandy January 24, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    Interesting info….amazing how literal kids can be.

  7. Anshul January 24, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    @ Anonymous: Thanks for the feedback.

    The reason i write at a basic level is because i don't want to bombard the readers with heavy words. I want to drive in the facts as simply as i could, so that everyone understands it.

    Your point is noted. I hope next time u'll find it to ur expectations. Please keep sharing your inputs in future as well 🙂

  8. Anshul January 24, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    @ Sandy:
    Thanks for liking the post Sandy. Do visit again for more such posts.

  9. bettyl January 27, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    I like learning strange things like that! Thanks!

  10. Anshul January 27, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    My pleasure :)… do visit again for more posts on the same lines..

  11. Vanessa Rogers January 28, 2010 at 6:35 am #

    I love random facts like that. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Anshul January 28, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    @ Vanessa
    Thanks for appreciating it :)..

  13. Dsouza March 4, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    Hi Anshul I have seen many fighter aircraft's cockpit..Still very much crazy about it..But didn't know the meaning…Great info

  14. Anshul March 4, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    @ Dsouza
    I'm glad I could add a small bit to your knowledge of aircrafts :)..

  15. Kepler Manuel April 14, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    Very interesting information. Thank you.

  16. Custom-Web-design May 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Is it really true that it got the name from cock fighting /??

  17. Anshul May 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    I know it is hard to believe but it is true 🙂

  18. Anonymous June 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    it appears to be a cock and bull story !!!!!!!!!

  19. Azad November 28, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Great post!!! m a pilot and 95% of my flying buddies don't know the reason of it being called a cockpit! 😀

    Cheers 🙂

  20. º°‘¨Riya¨‘°º December 27, 2010 at 2:58 am #

    Similarly, the word "runway" dates back to 1883 and usually meant "customary track of an animal"; but in aviation terminology this is used only since 1923!

  21. abhi September 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    loved your post !
    i am subscribing.

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