Idiom question

Bob Haas highbob at MINDSPRING.COM
Sat Jan 22 01:49:04 UTC 2000

While I didn't grow up on a farm, I grew up in a farming area near my
granddad's farm, and we all just said cows to refer to the group.  It was a
collective term,  BUT almost always that group was made up only of cows and
calves.  No bull.  A-hem, that is, the bulls were almost always segregated,
except for those very beautiful and special times.

But we all still talked about the whole caboodle as cows.

> From: "A. Vine" <avine at ENG.SUN.COM>
> Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 17:30:58 -0800
> Subject: Re: Idiom question
> Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>>> Anyway, my point is not that urban folk don't know the difference between
>>> a cow,
>>> heifer, bull, and steer.  It's that there is no need for a distinction
>>> when they
>>> use "cow".  And "bovine" sounds scientific, over-educated, or
>>> affected.  "Look,
>>> there's a computer box with a bovine print!"  "I have a cream pitcher in the
>>> shape of a bovine." "What sound does a bovine make?"
>>> Andrea
>> Enough already!  But I will add that most prints one sees are in fact of a
>> cow, not a bull or a steer.  Those of us "in the know" don't need to see
>> the whole animal to tell the difference (though urban folk might--or would
>> they know even then?); we can see maleness or femaleness in the face and
>> horns.  The Gateway Holstein _cow_ is a lovely (and nostalgia-stirring)
>> example of this.
> Yes, but we know there is a difference.  We are not referring only to females.
> --
> Andrea Vine, avine at, Sun-Netscape Alliance i18n architect
> "So I just don't see this as an either-or issue as much as an apples
> are yummy, and oranges are yummy, too, issue, and every now and then
> fruit salad is tasty." -- Matthew Wall

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