The 43 Basic Cockfighting Terms to Be Familiar With

A lot of people are aware that the term “cockfighting” refers to two cocks placed in a pit to fight, with most fights ending in serious injury or death. However, aside from that and other simple terms, not everyone is aware of the phrases and words used within the cockfighting community. It can be confusing, especially for those who are new to the sport.

If you’re wondering what a fight with two or more roosters is called, what phrase is used to describe the part to gauge a cock’s fighting ability, or maybe you want to know what words are used in modern tournament and derby rules, here’s a guide for you.

What Is Cockfight Slang For?

Cockfight slang is a word or term used in the cockfighting community. These words are used for easier communication and understanding among cockfight enthusiasts. Some of the terms are words used to describe cockfights to casual observers or those seeking information, while some terms are specifically used between enthusiasts.

What Is Another Name for Cockfighting?

Other terms that are used to refer to cockfighting are gamefowl fighting, rooster fighting, and gamecocks fighting. In the Philippines, the local term for cockfighting is sabong.

What Do You Call a Fighting Rooster?

A rooster used in cockfighting is called a fighting cock, battle cock, or battle stag. They can also be collectively called fighting birds.

Terms Used in Cockfighting

Baby Stag

What Is the Meaning of Baby Stag?

A baby stag is a rooster that is under 1 year old.

Battle Royal

A battle royal is when two or more roosters are pitted for fighting at one time. The bird that remains standing the longest is the victor.

Battle Stag

A rooster that is two years old or over and used for cockfighting.

Boxing Gloves

Implied in the name, these resemble boxing gloves and they are used to cover the spur, which is the natural weapon of a gamecock, during practice fights or sparring.

Brood Fowl

This is a fowl that is used strictly for breeding.

Brood Hen

A hen of 2 or more years old that is used strictly for breeding.

Brood Pen

This is a fenced area used to hold and contain brood fowl in order to breed them.

Brood Stag

A rooster that is under 2 years old and used strictly for breeding.


Pitting two or more roosters, usually in a cockpit, to fight against each other.


The art and science of putting roosters into their proper fighting condition. This includes various exercises, practice fights, as well as a special diet and a regimen of supplements all done weeks prior to a match.


This refers to the breeding of two fowls of a different breed together. Usually, this is done to produce battle cocks or stags.


A derby is when two or more owners enter several gamer cocks into a competition. The birds fight in pairs, and the owner whose birds win the most fights is declared the champion of the derby.


To use scissors, dubbing shears, or other such cutting tools to remove the comb and/or wattle off of a gamecock.

Exhibition Gamefowl

This is a fowl used for exhibition in gamefowl shows. There are typically Old English Gamefowls but can also be Pit Games as well.


A needle-like weapon used during a gaff cockfight. One gaff is fixed on the leg of the fighting bird. Gaffs can vary in size.

Game Cock

A rooster of a fighting breed. This also refers to both a battle stag and a battle cock.

Game Pit

This term is another word for the cockpit. Sometimes it also refers to the building where the cockpits are located.


A characteristic valued in fighting birds that leads them to continue to fight despite exhaustion or serious injury.


These are breeds of fowl whose male members resemble females.


This refers to the act of breeding closely related fowls together.


A certain method of conditioning cocks for fighting. This is typically done for a period of two weeks prior to a fight. Handlers often write down the details of the keep in a booklet or pamphlet.


This is a weapon used during a long-knife cockfight. It is typically 3-inches long and tied on the left foot of a rooster. In the Philippines, long knives are known as slashers. It is a popular Filipino style of cockfighting.

Long-Knife Fights

Also called long-knife fighting. As the name implies, this is a cockfight that uses a long knife tied to the left foot of a rooster. Long-knife cockfights are rather quick.


A cluster of feathers resembling a beard under a fowl’s beak. Both hens and roosters will have this cluster of feathers. This term also refers to sparring fowl with sparring muffs covering their natural spurs.


The time when fowl drop their feathers and grow new ones in their place. During this time, the fowl is not mentally or physically stable and should not be fought or even touched unless necessary.


Breeding in the new blood of the same breed.


This refers to an immature feather.

Pit Aid

This is a medicine, formula, shot, or other such product designed to enhance cocks’ fighting performance.


The physical act of placing two or more roosters beak to beak at the start of a cockfight.

Red Jungle Fowl

The original fowl from which all chickens derive.

Rye Neck

This is when a fighting cock takes a hit to the neck, making his neck roll back or turn around.


This refers to the feathers draping on the left and right side of the back of the fowl, near the tail.


A weapon mainly used by Mexicans in short-knife cockfights. It is shorter than a long knife, measuring anywhere from 3/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches.

Short-Knife Cockfights

These are matches that use short knives tied to the left foot of a rooster, 


This is another word to describe a long knife.


The act where roosters hit with their feet and spurs against each other, typically in the context of testing birds for their gameness and fighting ability. This term also refers to placing sparring muffs over a rooster’s natural spur in order to condition him.

Sparring Muffs

Leather covers that resemble boxing gloves. They are placed over the birds’ spurs during practice fights.


The natural bone-like material on a cock or stag’s leg. It is a rooster’s natural weapon. In cockfights, the birds’ spurs are removed and replaced with artificial spurs such as a gaff or knife.


A cluster of feathers on a fowl’s head.


This is the piece of flesh attached below the beak of a rooster.

Welsh Main

A number of fighting cocks of the same weight. They are typically fought in pairs, with the victory going to the final contest between the two survivors of the preceding cockfights.


A medicine given to orally kill parasitic worms in a rooster.

Wortham’s Rules

This is the shortened term for “Modern Tournament and Derby Rules” which are the most commonly used set of cockfighting rules.

Final Note

Just like any other hobby or sport in the world, cockfighting has adopted several words and has given them their own meaning to be used within the community. These terms help those interested in cockfighting to understand each other in a smooth and quick manner.