The (holy) cow: Bossie or Bessie?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Apr 27 14:57:59 UTC 2006

>At 10:25 AM -0200 4/27/06, Charles Doyle wrote:
>>It's my impression that once English speakers stopped
>>learning Latin, the bovinym "Bossie" became opaque, and so
>>it was replaced (by folk-etymology or whatever) with the
>>more ordinary female name "Bessie."
>For me, growing up in NYC c. 1950, where cows were animals I knew
>from commercials and ads, the archetypal, if not holy, cow was Elsie.
P.S.  I should have specified that this was all Borden's fault.


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