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Moo - who said that ?

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pmailkeey
1088879.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:42 am Reply with quote

Hi,

I think I've asked this before -but not on this subforum...

What animal do we get milk & beef from ?

is the 'general farm animal' an ox ? If not, what ?

Mike.

 
Jenny
1088888.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:48 am Reply with quote

Cattle?

 
djgordy
1088900.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:59 pm Reply with quote

A neat. (The plural is also "neat", which is kinda neat.)

So far as I aware this is the only English word that refers to a common domesticated bovine animal otherwise known simply as a cow or bull, that does not specify the sex. "Cattle" is a mass noun, though if you want a countable version you can have so many head of cattle. So you could say "a head of cattle" but that's a bit clumsy.

The word "cattle" originally meant any kind of moveable property and is where we get the word "chattle" from.

An ox is usually an animal used for draught rather than being raised specifically for meat or milk.

 
sally carr
1088903.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:39 pm Reply with quote

What about kine?

 
djgordy
1088905.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:56 pm Reply with quote

Kine is a plural of "cow".

 
pmailkeey
1088913.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:18 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
A neat. (The plural is also "neat", which is kinda neat.)



Not an answer I'd come across before - more commonly heard as in 'neat's foot oil'. Still, neat is from 'ox' so has the same problem as all the other answers I've come across (it's chattel, not chattle - and I thought cattle was from that rather then the other way around.)

Still not got to the bottom of the name of those animals though !

Looking at ox piccies - I don't see why the farmy one isn't an ox.

 
djgordy
1088917.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:55 pm Reply with quote

Neat is the correct answer. It is antiquated and rarely in use these days but it ticks all the boxes.

Quote:
neat (n.)
"ox, bullock, cow," Old English neat "ox, beast, animal," from Proto-Germanic *nautam "thing of value, possession" (cognates: Old Frisian nat, Middle Dutch noot, Old High German noz, Old Norse naut), from PIE root *neud- "to make use of, enjoy."


www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=neat

An ox, as I said above, is really a draught animal and usually a castrated male. It is defined, I would suggest, by what it is raised to do rather than by what it is. One would never call a dairy cow an ox.

 
julesies
1088918.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:51 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
One would never call a dairy cow an ox.
The Oxford Dictionary does:
Quote:
ox
Pronunciation: /ɒks/

NOUN (plural oxen /ˈɒks(ə)n/)

1 A domesticated bovine animal kept for milk or meat; a cow or bull:
'he was tall and broad and as strong as an ox'
See cattle.

1.1 A castrated bull used as a draught animal:
[AS MODIFIER]: 'an ox cart'

1.2 Used in names of wild animals related to or resembling a domesticated ox, e.g. musk ox.

 
CharliesDragon
1088919.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:00 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
Old Norse naut


"Naut" in (modern) Norwegian means someone very stupid. I did wonder if it could be related to neat as in cattle when it popped up here, and hey, it is. It's interesting for me, at least. :P

 
CB27
1088920.  Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:34 pm Reply with quote

It was Nursie in Blackadder II

 
djgordy
1088938.  Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:20 am Reply with quote

julesies wrote:
djgordy wrote:
One would never call a dairy cow an ox.
The Oxford Dictionary does:
Quote:
ox
Pronunciation: /ɒks/

NOUN (plural oxen /ˈɒks(ə)n/)

1 A domesticated bovine animal kept for milk or meat; a cow or bull:
'he was tall and broad and as strong as an ox'
See cattle.

1.1 A castrated bull used as a draught animal:
[AS MODIFIER]: 'an ox cart'

1.2 Used in names of wild animals related to or resembling a domesticated ox, e.g. musk ox.


There are some varieties of domesticated cattle that are known as oxen, such as the Chianini and many types in Asia. However, I don't believe that anyone would ever call, for instance, the Jersey cows that provide the milk for your breakfast cereals in the UK an "ox" except perhaps in a fanciful way.

I would agree that the word "oxen" can be a synonym for the word "cattle" and can be used broadly to cover wild species suchas the American bison, but I don't think that the word "ox" can always be applied to a single individual. It just isn't the way the word is used.

 
Leith
1088949.  Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:09 am Reply with quote

So far as common usage is concerned, I think the majority of people would understand / use 'cow' as a generic term for a bovine, in addition to its gender-specific meaning.

Or 'coo' if you prefer.

 
Posital
1088968.  Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:40 am Reply with quote

How does "as strong as an ox" come about?

Etymology: based on the idea that an ox (male cow) is a very strong animal

Ox
1) a bull that has had its testicles removed
Thesaurus entry for this meaning of ox
2) a large type of cow that is used on farms for pulling or carrying things

Some bits from the interwebs...

 
suze
1088971.  Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:11 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
So far as I aware this is the only English word that refers to a common domesticated bovine animal otherwise known simply as a cow or bull, that does not specify the sex. "Cattle" is a mass noun, though if you want a countable version you can have so many head of cattle. So you could say "a head of cattle" but that's a bit clumsy.


American cattle farmers often use beeves as a countable form to avoid the clumsy head of cattle, while Canadians and New Zealanders sometimes refer to cattlebeasts.

A few online reference works - all of whom seem to have copied it from Wikipedia - allege the existence of catron as a non-sex-specific word for this creature, but there is practically no evidence of real use of this word and it's not in the OED.

 
Zziggy
1089519.  Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:00 pm Reply with quote

This is probably slightly ridiculous, but I have learned thanks to this thread that oxen are cows. I was completely under the impression that they were different things.

It also reminded me of something which again you all probably know, but the fact (if indeed it is a fact) that cows all face the same way: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7575459.stm

 

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