is cow towing the opposite of cow tipping?

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Tue Nov 26 21:28:40 UTC 2002

In any other context, the verb "to tow" means "to pull".  However, on the
Mississippi River and its tributaries, barges are "towed" by being PUSHED
from behind, the pushing being done by a "towboat".

Hence, if the cow be floating in the Mississippi valley, and gets towed, it
is going in the opposite direction than if it were being towed on dry land.
In this sense, "cow towing" is a self-antonym.

When a towboat "tows" a barge, it does so by pushing on the barge with the
towboat's front end.  Hence it conducts "bow towing".

Now how to tow a cow? Bow tow.

Not to be confused with a group of dogs conferring on the proper
demonstrations of servility to overbearing feminists: a NOW sow kowtow
bow-wow powwow.

And of course you bow to kowtow.

As for cow tipping, I believe that is for keeping Elsie contented.

      - Jim Landau

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