The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60069 Message #960125
Posted By: GUEST,Q
27-May-03 - 08:40 PM
Thread Name: What do ranchers raise?
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
Yep, cows, from the very ancient Indo-European word, still persists with many of us when the current word we are supposed to use is cattle. Written or pronounced Ku in some of the old languages (the pronunciation still persists in parts of England). Just when and how it came to refer to mature females only, as Webster's says, I don't know.
The Cattle Associations here insist on cattle and no one dares say cow at their meetings, but anywhere else cow is heard frequently. My first post expressed the 'party line.'
The word cattle comes from the Norman catel, a perversion of Latin (capitale).
Gareth, I have never eaten oxen (acc. to the OED, the only word in general English which retains the original plural is oxen). Kine (or kye) is the old, largely discarded plural of cow, but maybe the words are used differently on the wrong side of the dyke.