"Plough with the favorite heifer", 1749

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Jun 6 17:19:09 UTC 2006


"And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer,
ye had not found out my riddle" (Judges 14:18).

Yes, Samson is speaking "metaphorically"--but in what way,
exactly, remains (to me) uncertain.  He rails against the
Philistines for their having obtaining, from his wife, the
solution to his riddle that she had inveigled him to tell
her as a spousal secret.  Perhaps he is using an idiomatic
reference to sexual intercourse as a metaphor for another
kind of marital infidelity?

--Charlie


---- Original message ----

>Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>Subject:      Re: "Plough with the favorite heifer", 1749
>------------------------------------------------------------
>
>I see I lack some resources :-)  Is this in
the "metaphorical" sense?
>
>Joel
>
>At 6/6/2006 12:53 PM, you wrote:
>>Judges 14:18.
>>
>>--Charlie
>>
>>
>>---- Original message ----
>> >Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 12:42:38 -0400
>> >From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>> >Subject: "Plough with the favorite heifer", 1749
>> >To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>> >
>> >"We are informed that a certain Foreign . . . who
>> >makes a very splendid Figure amongst us, has
>> >already lern'd to pursue the old English Maxim of
>> >ploughing with the favorite Heifer, which he
>> >thoroughly understands in the metaphorical Sense;
>> >and that a certain Naturaliz'd C-n-ss, in
>> >Conformity to this Maxim, was lately entertain'd
>> >by him with great Splendour and Expense."
>> >
>> >Northampton [England] Mercury, 23 October 1749
>> >(G. A. Cranfield, "The Development of the
>> >Provincial Newspaper, 1700-1760", page 70).
>> >
>> >What do you have, Fred?  With my limited
>> >sources:  not found Googling; from OED2, this
>> >sense of plough goes back to 1606,
>> >Shakespeare:  Ant. & Cl. ii. ii. 233 Royall
>> >Wench: She made great C├Žsar lay his sword to bed,
>> >He ploughed her, and she cropt.
>> >
>> >Joel
>>
>>-----------------------------------------------------------
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>>The American Dialect Society -
http://www.americandialect.org
>
>------------------------------------------------------------
>The American Dialect Society -
http://www.americandialect.org

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



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