Where the name cocktail came from is anyone's guess, but that has not stopped its devotees from imagining. Perhaps its source is coquetier, French for "egg cup." Perhaps its source is cock ale, an English drink said to consist of ale and chicken broth. Perhaps not.
The many kinds of cocktails have acquired their own names. The Manhattan (1890) was named for a hotel in the heart of New York City . The Martini (1894) reportedly gets its name from the well-known Martini brand of vermouth. And the Old-Fashioned (1901) uses the original (1806), now "old fashioned" cocktail recipe.
In the twentieth century, cocktail gained wider use in compounds like cocktail hour (1927), cocktail party (1928), cocktail dress (1935), and cocktail lounge (1939). The word also extended its meaning to encompass any stimulating mixture, evidenced by terms like fruit cocktail (1928), shrimp cocktail (1960), and the explosive Molotov cocktail (1939). At the less hard-drinking end of the century, it is perhaps in such nonalcoholic combinations that the word will survive.
This is just a partial list of cocktails. More mixes are created every day accross the world.