As I mentioned last week, my wife and I are trying to learn a little Spanish in preparation for our trip to South America. When I searched for translation options online, I got this: Cow to English. I’m not kidding. You can look it up on the site “Lingojam.” This is news, I mean moos, you can use.
We shouldn’t underestimate the tremendous influence that cows have on us. English is full of phrases that reflect our connection with the bovine species. Consider these expressions that have beefed up our language:
Being put out to pasture
Milking something for all its worth
Cash cow
’Til the cows come home
Holy cow!
A bunch of bull
And my favorite: Power Steering
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the inexplicable compulsion shared by everyone who drives past cows grazing in pastures. Bovilexia is the term that was invented to describe the urge to open the car window and yell, “MOO!” Yes, that word is now in the urban dictionary. Oh, and let’s not forget the wisdom of the great poet Ogden Nash: “The cow is of bovine ilk; One end is moo, the other is milk.”
Haven’t we all wondered what cows might say to us if they could speak? No one cares about what goats, chickens, or sheep are pondering. But cows? That’s news—no, moos—we can use.
When I drive by a field and see cows just standing around mooing, I wonder what a moo can mean. Cows have a lot of time to contemplate—more so than dogs, who usually have family obligations. But cows, even when being milked, are pretty much free to philosophize about all manner of things. What do cows think about? I’d give a Big Mac to know.
Look at what happens to most of us when we have hours to drift off in our own little worlds. We can get ourselves in serious trouble when we have too much time to think. Pablo Picasso was happy as a clam painting bowls of fruit on a table for years. Then, one week he got ahead of schedule with his commissions and had some extra time to just ruminate. I think we all know what happened after that.
Here are a few things that I believe cows are saying:
MOO: I hate that “Got Milk?” commercial. Let’s clear this up right now: I got the milk. You’ve been stealing the milk.
MOOOO MOOO: What’s all this talk about cow tipping? Twenty years of providing milk, and I’ve never seen a penny.
MOOoooo: You think it’s easy being a cow? YOU try chewing the same thing for 20 years.
MMMMOOOO: Tell those Chick-fil-A people that we appreciate their push for poultry, but please, we’re cows and even we can spell better.
MOOOOOOOOOOOOO: I’m in heat, but this doesn’t last very long, so hurry up. Oops, too late. Sorry.
That’s pretty much it for this week. I admit this is a really strange column, but don’t be mad at me if you considered it a waste of time to read. Seriously, don’t have a cow.
Dick Wolfsie appears weekdays on television sharing his humor, stories and video essays. His column appears weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at