The "Cuckoo" sounds that conclude Nausicaa come from a "clock on the mantelpiece in the priest's house" next to the Star of the Sea church, and their number tells the time of day, 9 PM. But the word also recalls a Shakespearean song referenced by Buck Mulligan in Scylla and Charybdis in which "Cuckoo" is a "word of fear" to married men, betokening sexual betrayal. The clock's call performs that significance for the listening Bloom, just as the melody of St. George's bells earlier became a nursery rhyme in his ears while telling the time.

John Hunt 2020

Title page to an English broadside ballad about a cuckolded husband. Source:

Celebration of the Order of Cuckoldry before the throne of Her Majesty, Infidelity, a ca. 1815 French print satirically depicting cuckolds and cuckqueans as members of an honorary knightly order. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The wily common cuckoo. Source:

Twenty-three cuckoo clocks doing their thing. Source: