Difference Wiki

Clam vs. Cockle: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 10, 2023
A clam is a general term for bivalve mollusks found in freshwater or saltwater, while a cockle is a specific type of saltwater bivalve with a distinct, ribbed shell.

Key Differences

Both clams and cockles are bivalve mollusks, which means they have a two-part hinged shell that houses a soft-bodied creature. Clam is a broad term that covers various bivalves, both from freshwater and saltwater habitats. On the other hand, cockles specifically refer to certain marine bivalves known for their heart-shaped, ribbed shells.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023
Clams can vary significantly in size, ranging from tiny ones just an inch across to giant clams that can measure over four feet. They often burrow into the sand or mud, leaving just a small part exposed. Cockles are generally smaller, and while they too can burrow, they are often found just beneath the surface of sandy or muddy sea beds.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023
In culinary contexts, clams have a diverse range of uses, from clam chowder to steamed dishes. They can be tender or chewy, depending on the type and preparation. Cockles, meanwhile, are often enjoyed steamed or boiled and are popular in European dishes. Their meat is sweet and delicate.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023
Culturally, clams and cockles have found their way into expressions and idioms. For example, the phrase "happy as a clam" alludes to the clam's appearance of smiling when its shell is open. On the other hand, "cockles of one's heart" refers to the deepest part of one's emotions or feelings, likely deriving from the heart-shaped appearance of a cockle.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

A bivalve mollusk found in freshwater or saltwater.
A specific type of saltwater bivalve with ribbed shell.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Habitat

Both freshwater and saltwater.
Primarily saltwater.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Shell Appearance

Can vary; not always ribbed.
Distinctly ribbed, often heart-shaped.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Culinary Use

Used in various dishes like clam chowder.
Commonly steamed or boiled.
Janet White
Oct 10, 2023

Size

Ranges from small to very large.
Generally smaller compared to many clams.
Janet White
Oct 10, 2023

Clam and Cockle Definitions

Clam

A marine or freshwater mollusk with a soft body enclosed in a hinged shell.
She collected several clams during low tide.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Cockle

Something that pleases or warms the heart.
The story warmed the cockles of her heart.
Harlon Moss
Oct 10, 2023

Clam

An error or blunder, especially in music or sports.
He made a clam during his piano recital.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Cockle

A small, fireplace, especially in a corner.
They gathered around the cockle to stay warm.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Clam

A burdensome or troublesome matter.
This situation is a real clam to deal with.
Harlon Moss
Oct 10, 2023

Cockle

Any of various chiefly marine bivalve mollusks of the family Cardiidae, having rounded or heart-shaped shells with radiating ribs.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

Any of various usually burrowing marine and freshwater bivalve mollusks chiefly of the subclass Heterodonta, including members of the families Veneridae and Myidae, many of which are edible.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

The shell of a cockle.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

The soft edible body of such a mollusk.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

A wrinkle; a pucker.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

(Informal) A close-mouthed person, especially one who can keep a secret.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

(Nautical) A cockleshell.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

(Slang) A dollar
Owed them 75 clams.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

Any of several weedy plants, especially the corn cockle.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

A clamp or vise.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

To become or cause to become wrinkled or puckered.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

To hunt for clams.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

Any of various edible European bivalve mollusks, of the family Cardiidae, having heart-shaped shells.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

A bivalve mollusk of many kinds, especially those that are edible; for example pl=s (Mya arenaria), hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), sea clams or hen clam (Spisula solidissima), and other species. The name is said to have been given originally to the Tridacna gigas, a huge East Indian bivalve.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

The shell of such a mollusk.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

Strong pincers or forceps.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

(in the plural) One’s innermost feelings (only in the expression “the cockles of one’s heart”).
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

A kind of vise, usually of wood.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

(directly from French coquille) A wrinkle, pucker
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

A dollar.
Those sneakers cost me fifty clams!
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

(by extension) A defect in sheepskin; firm dark nodules caused by the bites of keds on live sheep
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

A Scientologist.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

The mineral black tourmaline or schorl.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

A vagina.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

(UK) The fire chamber of a furnace.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

(slang) In musicians' parlance, a wrong or misplaced note.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

(UK) A kiln for drying hops; an oast.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

(informal) One who clams up; a taciturn person, one who refuses to speak.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

(UK) The dome of a heating furnace.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

Mouth (Now found mostly in the expression shut one's clam)
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

Any of several field weeds, such as the common corncockle (Agrostemma githago) and darnel ryegrass (Lolium temulentum).
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

Clamminess; moisture
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

(Cockney rhyming slang) A £10 note; a tenner.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

To dig for clams.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

To cause to contract into wrinkles or ridges, as some kinds of cloth after a wetting; to pucker.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

To produce, in bellringing, a clam or clangor; to cause to clang.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

A bivalve mollusk, with radiating ribs, of the genus Cardium, especially Cardium edule, used in Europe for food; - sometimes applied to similar shells of other genera.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

To be moist or glutinous; to stick; to adhere.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

A cockleshell.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

To clog, as with glutinous or viscous matter.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

The mineral black tourmaline or schorl; - so called by the Cornish miners.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

Clammy.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

The fire chamber of a furnace.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

A bivalve mollusk of many kinds, especially those that are edible; as, the long clam (Mya arenaria), the quahog or round clam (Venus mercenaria), the sea clam or hen clam (Spisula solidissima), and other species of the United States. The name is said to have been given originally to the Tridacna gigas, a huge East Indian bivalve.
You shall scarce find any bay or shallow shore, or cove of sand, where you may not take many clampes, or lobsters, or both, at your pleasure.
Clams, or clamps, is a shellfish not much unlike a cockle; it lieth under the sand.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

A hop-drying kiln; an oast.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

Strong pinchers or forceps.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

The dome of a heating furnace.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

A kind of vise, usually of wood.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

A plant or weed that grows among grain; the corn rose (Luchnis Githage).
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

Claminess; moisture.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

To cause to contract into wrinkles or ridges, as some kinds of cloth after a wetting.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

A crash or clangor made by ringing all the bells of a chime at once.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

Common edible European bivalve
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

To clog, as with glutinous or viscous matter.
A swarm of wasps got into a honey pot, and there they cloyed and clammed Themselves till there was no getting out again.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

Common edible European bivalve mollusk having a rounded shell with radiating ribs
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

To be moist or glutinous; to stick; to adhere.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

Stir up (water) so as to form ripples
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

To produce, in bell ringing, a clam or clangor; to cause to clang.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

To gather something into small wrinkles or folds;
She puckered her lips
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

Burrowing marine mollusk living on sand or mud
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

A small, edible marine bivalve with a rounded shell.
She enjoyed fresh cockles from the market.
Sara Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Clam

A piece of paper money worth one dollar
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

A wrinkle or pucker, especially in fabric.
There was a cockle in the shirt after washing.
Janet White
Oct 10, 2023

Clam

Flesh of either hard-shell or soft-shell clams
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Cockle

The core or innermost part of something.
He was touched in the cockle of his soul.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Clam

Gather clams, by digging in the sand by the ocean
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 13, 2023

Clam

Informal: a dollar.
That toy cost me ten clams!
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Clam

A tight-lipped person.
He's a clam when it comes to his personal life.
Sara Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

FAQs

Are all clams edible?

While many clams are edible, not all are palatable or safe to eat.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Do both clams and cockles burrow?

Yes, both can burrow, but cockles are often just beneath the surface.
Janet White
Oct 10, 2023

Which is bigger, clams or cockles?

Clams can vary in size, and some can be much larger than cockles.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Are cockles a type of clam?

Yes, cockles are a specific type of marine clam.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Are clams and cockles found worldwide?

Both clams and cockles are found in various parts of the world, but their species and types might differ by region.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

How are clams typically cooked?

Clams can be steamed, boiled, fried, or used in soups like clam chowder.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Can clams live in freshwater?

Yes, there are freshwater clam species.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 10, 2023

What's the significance of "cockles of one's heart"?

It refers to the deep, innermost feelings or emotions of a person.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 10, 2023

How can you differentiate a clam from a cockle by appearance?

Cockles often have heart-shaped, distinctly ribbed shells.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2023

Are cockles sweet in taste?

Cockles generally have a sweet and delicate flavor.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 10, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons