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That which moos

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Topic: 4) That which moos (1 of 12), Read 161 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 1999 02:59 PM

Kevin Delgado, of Lawrence, Kansas, writes: "There is a word that describes, without reference to gender or age, an individual equine: 'horse.' There doesn't seem to be an equivalent for bovines. 'Cow' is most commonly used to mean an individual bovine, but this has a gender meaning as well, so wouldn't always be correct. The word 'bovine' works, but is more scientific, and just doesn't seem to flow at all: 'Jake bought a new bovine yesterday.' 'Kine' probably works, but it's so archaic that few people have heard it. I heard Gary Cooper, in 'Sergeant York,' use the term 'beef-critter,' which I love for being just plain weird, but can't imagine Tom Brokaw ever using it: 'Today a beef-critter escaped from the stockyards and ...' Perhaps there is a word for an individual gender-neutral bovine, but it must not be used very often."

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Topic: 4) That which moos (2 of 12), Read 142 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Glenn Werner (brshfire@frontiernet.net)
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 1999 11:10 PM

Kevin must not have children. If he did he'd know that they're called, Moo-Moos. And just once I'd love to hear Tom Brokow use their proper name in a broadcast. : )

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Topic: 4) That which moos (3 of 12), Read 127 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Tracy Durden (tdandaa@yahoo.com)
Date: Saturday, February 13, 1999 01:36 AM

Personally, I call them Moomers.
;-)
Tracy

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Topic: 4) That which moos (4 of 12), Read 124 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dorothy Glantz (dml.glantz@swipnet.se)
Date: Saturday, February 13, 1999 01:45 PM

Glenn, now let's not lead Kevin astray. You know just as well as I do that there are girl moos-moos and boy moo-moos, not to mention girl bow-wows and boy bow-wows- if children two and under could participate in Word Fugitives, we wouldn't have so much fun....

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Topic: 4) That which moos (5 of 12), Read 121 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Glenn Werner (brshfire@frontiernet.net)
Date: Saturday, February 13, 1999 03:20 PM

Dorothy, I don't know what came over me. You're absolutely right.
If two year olds were allowed in here, we'd all be out-classed when it comes to creating new words for thing-ies!

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Topic: 4) That which moos (6 of 12), Read 120 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Larry Pettit (exntsialcowboy@webtv.net)
Date: Sunday, February 14, 1999 12:59 PM

YES, I AGREE THAT IT IS A PROBLEM BECUASE THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE SEEMINGLY EAGER TO POINT OUT THAT THAT COW IS A BULL.

THE ONLY WAY THAT I KNOW OF GETTING AROUND THIS RIDICULOUS PROBLEM IS THAT I CALL IT A CALF, A HEIFER, A STEER, ETC OR REFER TO IT AS ONE HEAD OF CATTLE.

THE OTHER ALERNATIVE IS TELL THAT GUY WHO SAYS THAT THAT COW IS A BULL EITHER COME UP WITH A TERM OR SHUT UP.

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Topic: 4) That which moos (7 of 12), Read 117 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Sunday, February 14, 1999 04:19 PM

Larry,

Your E-mail name suggests that this is a topic in which you have a certain amount of expertise ...

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Topic: 4) That which moos (8 of 12), Read 115 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Bill Benson (bsnone@hotmail.com)
Date: Monday, February 15, 1999 09:39 AM

Finding Word Fugitives may not have been the best thing for my health. I woke up at 3 this morning wrestling with this cownundrum. And no matter how many oxen, ruminants, dogies or Guernseys I counted, sleep would not return. We simply have to coin a new term. As someone who has walked through many a pasture, I'm aware of one characteristic that is unique to cattle and might be a starting point for our search. Excuse me, but I must propose, cowflopicator.

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Topic: 4) That which moos (9 of 12), Read 119 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Monday, February 15, 1999 10:05 AM

Next time this happens, why not fix yourself a nice warm glass of milk ...

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Topic: 4) That which moos (10 of 12), Read 102 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Denny Stein (den@abanet.org)
Date: Monday, February 15, 1999 11:34 PM

Don't you think the answer is moot?

denny

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Topic: 4) That which moos (11 of 12), Read 92 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: A. Prosper (prospero@uti.com)
Date: Wednesday, February 17, 1999 10:04 PM

Are you sure that a gender-less word is in order. If a cow escapes a stockyard that is one thng. If a bull is on the loose, that's another thing entirely.

Is there bull on the loose in this thread? And would it be singluar or plural? Me-thinks many-times plural.

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Topic: 4) That which moos (12 of 12), Read 20 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Sherri Walker Vail (walks@tccilaw.com)
Date: Thursday, March 04, 1999 06:55 PM

Ok, ok, all you cowfanciers.....how about a "cowse" - it's short, to the point, has the same letters as "horse" and, and, it's, well, it's cute. We might need to check an authority: at alt.cows.moo.moo.moo.

Happy trails......!

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Topic: mooers (1 of 2), Read 63 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Julia Woods (jwoods@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Monday, February 15, 1999 10:24 PM

The 19th century usage was to call them beeves, though it may be limited to eatin' cattle rather than all cattle (including beasts of burden, though I guess they're all edible, under the right circumstances). The singular is beeve, which brings up a picture of Jerry Mathers, who is inedible.

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Topic: mooers (2 of 2), Read 55 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Marty Smith (marty@moonrat.com)
Date: Wednesday, February 17, 1999 10:10 PM

I concur with the term "beeves" mentioned above (damn-- beaten to the punch!), and would add that I have seen the usage by a Texan as late as the 1940s, in a letter cited in Robert Caro's _Means of Ascent_, the second volume of that author's excellent political biography of Lyndon Johnson. I believe that the singular by this time had evolved into the less-jarring "beef."


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