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Missing: Cockpits on ships! Scriberius 12:19, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually, its there in the second para. -- Solipsist 11:20, 3 July 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone know the origin of the term? I've heard comment that a "cockpit" is renamed a "box office" when the entire flight crew is female. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

1587, "a pit for fighting cocks." Used in nautical sense (1706) for midshipmen's compartment below decks; transferred to airplanes (1914) and to cars (1930s).

As far as I can tell, the etymology has nothing to do with the fact that most pilots are male. —D'Agosta ( TC ) 18:31, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

I am not sure the source but I recall reading that one of the Royal Navy's headquarters (maybe even the current one) was nicknamed the cockpit (or cock pit) because it had been built on the site where cock fights were held - a cock fighting pit. The name was then transferred to the junior officer's (midshipmen's) quarters aboard the Royal Navy's warships, whence it was then transferred to small boats, and from there to aircraft - thus linking it back to birds again.NiD.29 (talk) 00:39, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Someone needs to find some good citations for this, but after a friend asked me about the term and I looked into it, to me it seems more likely that the nautical sense is related to "coxswain" and "cock-boat". Apparently the cockpit was where the cock-boat was kept, and this was also the station for the coxswain (whose name literally derives from "cock servant"). The cock-boat, in turn, was a small ship's boat whose name derived from "coque", a French word for "shell" which also means "hull". To me this origin seems much more plausible than a vague connection to cockfighting, which I can't imagine sailors frequently performed next to the ship's helm. --Colin Douglas Howell (talk) 23:45, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
I have never found any mention of a connection to coxswains or their small boats, especially since they wouldn't have been stored in the cockpit anyway - Oxford Dictionary: Late 16th century (in sense 2): from cock1 + pit1. sense 1 dates from the early 20th century and derives from an early 18th-cent. nautical term 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 from which a yacht is steered'; hence the place housing the controls of other vehicles.
Such an area supposedly resembled a fighting cockpit in being dark, cramped and foul smelling - nothing to do with fighting birds. - NiD.29 (talk) 07:45, 22 February 2016 (UTC)


I think this article could do with a little rework. Most particularly to put the description of a cockpit as the control section of an airplane back at the top as the primary meaning. Then the discussion on cockfighting and naval meanings can be moved down to separate section with a more historical context. It was this edit back in July 2004 that gave primacy to the origin of the word as a pit for cockfighting.

As it is, the article is probably not what most readers are expecting. -- Solipsist 11:29, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I think the chronological, historical description makes sense it's educational, it shows how the modern usage has come about. You say the article is probably not what most readers are expecting. I say Good!, they might learn something. I might even add Hogarth's famous print - (better version here I agree though that there is certainly plenty of room for expansion regarding the modern usage. Jooler 11:36, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Oh I don't disagree that it is interesting (I helped to expand it myself), the trouble is that the three uses are really very different things that just happen to be linked by a common etymology. The original article was really a disambiguation page and the three subjects could easily be separated into three pages. If that were to happen the aviation usage would be the primary topic disambiguation. As such, it is wrong to keep the page as it is. -- Solipsist 19:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
That's it little odd. It might be my memory playing tricks on me, but I rather thought I did the expansion to include the Royal Navy usage of cockpit. However the current page history attributes that to Mintguy. Does anyone know of any pagediff problems around that era? -- Solipsist 19:22, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Since the first recorded use of cockpit for Airplanes was 1914, could there have been a fighting connotation in the origin during WWI? -- 15:57, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Move or spin off[edit]

I was going to ask for thoughts on moving the content of this page to Cockpit (aviation) and use this title space for the disambiguatuion, however in view of the above discussion, what would the reaction be to keep the history here and to move aircraft specific details to a new Cockpit (aviation) page. KTo288 (talk) 11:44, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

-I am interested where the word actually derrived from? I read about the RAF but why "cock pit"? The pit is obvious but why cock? Is that short for somthing? Does an;yone have a idea? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Hope that would answer your question: The original term 'cockpit' is actually derived from the literal cock-fighting pits (a sunken ring-like fighting area for two ill-tempered animals, usually chickens / roosters) prevalent throughout history (for sport until banned as illegal in most countries). The sunken-tub like shape that were found in the original aircraft were said to be reminiscent of these fighting arenas, thus the name stuck. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:16, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Dual and tandem cockpits[edit]

The article should discribe the seating in a dual or tandem cockpit. Does the copilot sit on the left or right? In a military tandem cockpit, does the navigator sit in the front or the back? How about trainees and instructors? Are all controls duplicated? if not, where are the single controls located? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:16, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

pilot sits on the left[edit]

Say if the pilot sits on the left, and the co-pilot on the right.

Jidanni (talk) 14:15, 19 November 2013 (UTC)