Idiom question

Anne Lambert annelamb at GNV.FDT.NET
Wed Jan 26 20:10:16 UTC 2000

This discussion of different cow names reminds me of a question which I have long
wondered about: why are the males of some kinds of deer called bucks and the
females does, while in others the males are stags and the females hinds? I think
it's small vs. large, but  that's just my guess.

"A. Vine" wrote:

> Beverly Flanigan wrote:
> >
> >   The basic problem in this country, of course,
> > is that non-rural people no longer know the difference between cows,
> > heifers, bulls, and steers!
> I don't think that is the "problem".  The term "cow" is the generic term for the
> animal, regardless of sexual status.  If you say "heifer", you're only talking
> about a female cow.  If you say "bull" or "steer", you're only talking about a
> male cow (with a difference in sterility).  But if you say "cow", you're not
> specifying the sex.
> >
> > >So many Western perceptions of India are based on India as seen through
> > >the eyes of the British colonials, including even the city names, which is
> > >why "Bombay" within the last ten years has reverted to its true name of
> > >"Mumbai", "Bombay" being an erroneous British mutilation of the name.
> >
> > Myanmar being another obvious example--the /m/-->/b/ pattern is evident,
> > here and elsewhere?
> Moskva => Moscow => Bosco?  Coincidence?  You decide.
> Andrea

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