Cock Sure

is cocky sure—pertly confident. We call a self-confident, over-bearing prig a cocky fellow, from the barnyard despot; but Shakespeare employs the phrase in the sense of “sure as the cock of a firelock.”

“We steal as in a castle, cock-sure.” —Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., ii. 1.

The French phrase is à coup sûr, as “Nous réussirons à coup sûr, ” we are certain of success, “Cela est ainsi à coup sûr, ” etc., and the phrase “Sure as a gun,” seem to favour the latter derivation.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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