Rooster vs. Gamecock - What's the difference?

Main Difference

The main difference between Rooster and Gamecock is that the Rooster is a male chicken and Gamecock is a blood sport.


A rooster, also known as a gamecock, cockerel or cock, is an adult male gallinaceous bird, usually a male chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). Mature male chickens less than one year old are called cockerels. The term "rooster" originates in the United States, and the term is widely used throughout North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The older terms "cock" or "cockerel", the latter denoting a young cock, are used in the United Kingdom and Ireland."Roosting" is the action of perching aloft to sleep at day, which is done by both sexes. The rooster is polygamous, but cannot guard several nests of eggs at once. He guards the general area where his hens are nesting, and attacks other roosters that enter his territory. During the daytime, a rooster often sits on a high perch, usually 0.9 to 1.5 m (3 to 5 feet) off the ground, to serve as a lookout for his group (hence the term "rooster"). He sounds a distinctive alarm call if predators are nearby and will frequently crow to assert his territory.


A cockfight is a blood sport between two cocks, or gamecocks, held in a ring called a cockpit. The history of raising fowl for fighting goes back 6,000 years. The first documented use of the word gamecock, denoting use of the cock as to a "game", a sport, pastime or entertainment, was recorded in 1634, after the term "cock of the game" used by George Wilson, in the earliest known book on the sport of cockfighting in The Commendation of Cocks and Cock Fighting in 1607. But it was during Magellan's voyage of discovery of the Philippines in 1521 when modern cockfighting was first witnessed and documented by Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's chronicler, in the kingdom of Taytay. The combatants, referred to as gamecocks (not to be confused with game birds), are specially bred and conditioned for increased stamina and strength. Male and female chickens of such a breed are referred to as game fowl. Cocks possess congenital aggression toward all males of the same species. Wagers are often made on the outcome of the match. Cockfighting is a blood sport due in some part to the physical trauma the cocks inflict on each other, which is sometimes increased by attaching metal spurs to the cocks' natural spurs. While not all fights are to the death, the cocks may endure significant physical trauma. In some areas around the world, cockfighting is still practiced as a mainstream event; in some countries it is regulated by law, or forbidden outright. Advocates of the "age old sport" often list cultural and religious relevance as reasons for perpetuation of cockfighting as a sport.

Rooster vs. Gamecock


Table of contents

1. Etymology
          3.1. Synonyms
          3.2. Hypernyms
          3.3. Hyponyms
          3.4. Coordinate terms
          3.5. Derived terms
          3.6. Related terms
          3.7. See also



1. Etymology

roost +‎ -er

2. Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɹuːstə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɹustəɹ/, enPR: roo͞'stər
  • Rhymes: -uːstə(ɹ)

3. Noun

rooster (plural roosters)

  1. (US, Kent, Australia, New Zealand) A male domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) or other gallinaceous bird.
    • 1772 March 14, A.G. Winslow, Diary:
      Their other dish... contain'd a number of roast fowls—half a dozen, we suppose, & all roosters at this season no doubt.
    • 1836, Catharine Parr Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, p. 308:
      The produce of two hens and a cock, or rooster, as the Yankees term that bird.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, iii, xvi, p. 616:
      Chalk a circle for a rooster.
  2. A bird or bat which roosts or is roosting.
    • 1949, British Birds, 42, p. 323:
      The more leisured flight of the roosters [sc. starlings] was in contrast to the steady procession of the migrants.
  3. (figuratively, obsolete slang) An informer.
  4. (figuratively, obsolete slang) A violent or disorderly person.
  5. (figuratively) A powerful, prideful, or pompous person.
  6. (figuratively, originally US slang, now chiefly New Zealand) A man.
  7. (regional US, historical) A wild violet, when used in a children's game based on cockfighting.
    • 1946, Conrad Richter, The Fields, p. 231:
      In April they played Hens and Roosters, yoking their wild white and blue violets to see which would get its head pulled off.
  8. (obsolete US slang) Legislation solely devised to benefit the legislators proposing it.
    • 1869 July, Southern Review, p. 54:
      American demoralisation... has carried rooster into the halls of republican legislation, where it indicates a bill or proposed law which will remunerate the legislators.

3.1. Synonyms

  • (male chicken): cock
  • (informant): See Thesaurus:informant
  • (violent person): brawler
  • (powerful person): See Thesaurus:big cheese
  • (pompous person): cock of the walk, cock of the roost
  • (man): See Thesaurus:man

3.2. Hypernyms

  • (male chicken): chicken, fowl

3.3. Hyponyms

  • (male chicken): cockerel (young rooster)

3.4. Coordinate terms

  • (male chicken): hen

3.5. Derived terms

  • roosterly
  • roosterness
  • roostertail
  • roost

3.7. See also

  • cock-a-doodle-doo

4. References

  • "rooster, n.", in the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

5. Anagrams

  • reroots, rooters, toreros


1. Etymology

game +‎ cock

2. Noun

gamecock (plural gamecocks)

  1. A fighting cock: a rooster used in cockfighting.

3. See also

  • cockfight
  • cockfighting
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