Today's The Fussy Librarian newsletter presents an e-book called Two Tocks Before Midnight. I don't know what "tock" means, but the title suggests something related to clocks, like "tick". I went to the Merrian-Webster website and found this definition there: "an African hornbill of the genus Tockus". Then I went to Dictionary.com and there's no definition at all.

Is it a new word? Or is it some kind of word play? TIA.


Big analogue clocks make the sound "tick-tock". The book might have been called Two Ticks Before Midnight, but that must have seemed too pedestrian to the author, or else he was afraid people would think his book was about a pair of sleepless arachnids.