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Gender-neutral term also[edit]

On wikipedia, it is stated:

Cattle regardless of sex (in vernacular usage).

also Merriam-Webster indicates in their definition 2 that it means regardless of sex -- Bovineone 01:43, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

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Sense: "Something annoying." --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:10, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

It's a real cow to find citations for this usage. Kappa 12:10, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
No bull, it's a real beast! --Enginear 15:29, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
OK, sorry. I have no idea what I was thinking. RFV removed. --Connel MacKenzie 22:01, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

From RFC[edit]

Archaic plural seems incorrect. References for it? --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:11, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

RFC removed – it's really very very common. I've added a cite from the Bible on the kine page. Widsith 08:41, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Wow. Must add def of it's as it was :-) I'd seen kine, but never seen kith and kine. Is (was) it totally unconnected with kith and kin? --Enginear 10:43, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Well - what I mean is, you still see it a lot. Depending on what kinds of books you read, I suppose! I don't really know about kith and kine, that didn't come from me...I'd never heard of it myself. Widsith 08:29, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Most of the references that I'v seen to kith and kine were eggcorns for kith and kin. There were a few references to cow/animal stories and it seems to be a play on word of kith and kin. FWIW, I think kith and kine is an eggcorn or a play on words of kith and kin.

Origin of Cow[edit]

The origin of term COW is not from persian since in Persian it is Gaav Maade, however in Mazandarani it is GOW, which may be the correct origin --Ali1986 09:45, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

English Cow did not come from Persian OR Mazandarani. It is merely cognate with them, which is quite another thing. —Stephen 12:43, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Since persian was in the etymology section i consider it as a origin of the word COW --Ali1986 15:15, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Etymologies often list important cognates, and cognate is the word that is used. English cow did not come from any Iranian language. Rather, Persian and English both got their words for cow from the same ancient source: Proto-Indo-European. —Stephen 15:31, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

From English Wikipedia[edit]

Removed from the cattle article on English Wikipedia, as not relevant there. --Una Smith 19:57, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

The article on "cows" is the article on cattle, so not sure what you're on about. Of course it should be linked. — LlywelynII 04:32, 8 January 2015 (UTC)


"The word cow came via Anglo-Saxon (plural ), from Common Indo-European *gʷōus}} (genitive *gʷowes) = "a bovine animal", compare Latin bos, Greek βους, Sanskrit go."

Removed sense[edit]

Removed this: # {{context|informal|lang=en}} A [[conniption fit]] or [[hissy fit]]; a state of [[agitation]] {{context|only in the phrase '''have a cow'''|lang=en}}.

The expression have a cow is not describing a person possessing an argument or "hissy fit": it's describing their behavior as similar to what one would expect if they were having (i.e., giving birth to) a cow (i.e., calving). If there is some other expression or use of "cow" in this sense, peachy, but that particular idiom has nothing to do with an additional sense of "cow": it's simply talking about definition 2 (any member of the bovine tribe). — LlywelynII 04:30, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

You can only remove a sense via RFV or RFD. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:38, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Ordering of definitions[edit]

What do you guys think?

I'm all for keeping 'female bovine' as definition 1 for reasons of hypercorrectness and etymology but, technically, we're supposed to lead with the most pervasive usage, which is the more general 'y'know, cows!' one. Time for iar? or should we switch them? — LlywelynII 04:44, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

The female bovine definition is sense 1 of MWO[1] and sense 1 of Collins[2]. I don't see what makes you think this is not the most often used sense; any evidence or reference? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:41, 11 January 2015 (UTC)


Cleaned this up some but the informal senses really need some link to much larger Wikisaurus treatment of "unpleasant woman" (heifer, bitch, cunt...), "large, awkward person" (heifer, whale...), and "unpleasant thing" (bear, beast, (UK) cunt...). We shouldn't include all of them with their shades of differences here. — LlywelynII 04:59, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Another use as a verb?[edit]

  • About the 17th century in London in England, house residents had to clean the street in front of their houses. The order said that the house occupant must "cleanse and cow" the street in front of his house. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:44, 8 November 2016 (UTC)