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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2008-02-26 11:36:20

Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 1

"Cowtail" for "kow-tow"

“My parents refused to cowtail to this commercialism.”

Spotted in this discussion thread … &edition=1

I don’t think it’ll let me link to a specific comment, but it’s the comment posted by Sally Brown on Tuesday, 26 February, 2008, 24:12 GMT 00:12 UK.



#2 2008-02-27 13:41:48

Registered: 2007-06-19
Posts: 263

Re: "Cowtail" for "kow-tow"

this thing is all over Google!



#3 2008-02-28 13:09:09

Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1456

Re: "Cowtail" for "kow-tow"

This one has some potential, so I thought I’d grab a few from the internet (see below).

Now all we have to do is figure out the imagery to “cowtail.” At the very least, it takes an abstract word (kowtow) and brings it into the physical realm (cowtail). That seems to be a common feature of eggcorns. Perhaps there is some association with sacred cows, or some hypothetical significance to the motion of a cow’s tail. Who knows?

Dems’ New Energy Bill: Same Environmentalist Whine in a New …
Dec 5, 2007 … Hopefully a majority of your colleagues will recognize the logic of your argument and not cowtail to the alarmists. Gary, Virginia … – 44k – Similar pages

A Trace in the Sand » Architecture Documentation: Courage to…
So, if we cowtail to the push-back against architecture documentation from extreme agilists, and our own disinclination to write down architecture decisions … – 24k – Similar pages … onvention/

Scout badge criticized as ‘licence to kill’ – Airsoft Canada
The fact that society would rather cowtail to a soccer mom then tell her to pull her head out of her ass and accept the fact that they’re playing a game and … – 87k – Similar pages



#4 2008-02-29 04:24:56

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1669

Re: "Cowtail" for "kow-tow"

I like it, but it’s darn hard to see a direct connection between “cowtail” and the usual meaning of this phrase. Still, Joe and others have sometimes noted that certain reshapings seem to have a sort of vague or “subliminal” semantic connection to the original. In this case, I wonder whether being “cowed” (in the sense of being intimidated) and “turning tail” (in the sense of retreating) might be vaguely involved here.



#5 2008-03-05 15:47:00

Registered: 2007-06-19
Posts: 263

Re: "Cowtail" for "kow-tow"

or that a cow twitches its tail, and “kowtow” is a brief switch?

Though most people use “kowtow” to mean “give in,” or “cater to,” without ever thinking of the physical movement of the bow.



#6 2017-12-29 19:23:34

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2459

Re: "Cowtail" for "kow-tow"

Strikes me that there’s likely blending with hightail it (outta there) going on. Fleeing is a typical coweredly action. The contrast between a cow lumbering outta there and a white-tailed deer decamping is pleasing to my mind.
(This would coexist with and enhance the association Pat noted with turning tail . Seems like there are other usages of tail implying cowardly behavior or fear, but I’m not thinking of them. “Tail between his legs”? Doesn’t connect very directly if at all.)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2017-12-29 19:28:29)

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



#7 2017-12-30 05:11:00

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1375

Re: "Cowtail" for "kow-tow"

DavidTuggy wrote:

The contrast between a cow lumbering outta there and a white-tailed deer decamping is pleasing to my mind.

This should be a Gary Larson cartoon.



#8 2017-12-30 14:22:40

From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 233

Re: "Cowtail" for "kow-tow"

Like Pat, I thought of “turning tail” as a link here.

“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin



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