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#1 2017-12-25 09:27:37

Dianora
Member
Registered: 2017-12-25
Posts: 2

"cow-toes" for kowtows

“What makes you think that I have to be the one that cow-toes or leave?”

Someone who didn’t check a dictionary and so not a eggcorn but who knows? A quick search for the phrase on the web is amusing.

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#2 2017-12-25 23:27:47

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2122
Website

Re: "cow-toes" for kowtows

Hi, Dianora, and welcome!

It’s a good idea to check the database and forum and see if something has already been recorded. Open the database homepage (not the forum homepage) and search with the second searchbox (the Google search). In this case, Ken Lakritz reported this way back in 2005! It is fun to be reminded of it.
.
I don’t think the toe-kissing scenario Ken proposed is very likely or convincing, minus a perp’s confession. I continue to wonder if it is not a spelling pronunciation error. If you learn kowtow through reading rather than hearing it, you may think the tow part is pronounced like the tow in tow truck and pronounce it that way. If you figure out a good meaning having to do with pulling something along the ground or water by a rope, that would be an eggcorn, but you might not go that far. Either way, somebody else hearing you may well think you said cow toe even if they get no clear picture of why.
.
I don’t understand what checking a dictionary has to do with whether it is an eggcorn or not. Few eggcorn perps do, and if they find their way of pronouncing or construing a word or phrase is “wrong” according to the dictionary, they may well change it (stop using the eggcorn) but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a perfectly good eggcorn before they checked.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2017-12-26 12:27:38)


*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 .)

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#3 2017-12-26 09:58:15

Dianora
Member
Registered: 2017-12-25
Posts: 2

Re: "cow-toes" for kowtows

> DavidTuggy wrote:

> bq. Hi, Dianora, and welcome

> It’s a good idea to check the database and forum and see if something has already been recorded. Open the database homepage (not the > forum homepage) and search with the second searchbox (the Google search). In this case,

> Ken Lakritz reported this way back in 2005 It is fun to be reminded of it.
.
I had looked for it first ;) and forgot to try the plural form, but in my defence, I was very amused and surprised by this form of ‘kowtow’.

> I don’t think the toe-kissing scenario Ken proposed is very likely or convincing, minus a perp’s confession. I continue to wonder if it is not a
> spelling pronunciation error. If you learn kowtow through reading rather than hearing it, you may think the tow part is pronounced like the

I’m of the opinion it was a simple spelling/pronunciation error as well, but then again with eggcorns someone might have done a back-construction which is what I was looking for. I’m also curious on how often this form shows up. Probably not often.

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#4 2017-12-29 13:56:00

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1235

Re: "cow-toes" for kowtows

Possibly someone could be (however unconsciously) assuming an eggcornish meaning connection between “toeing the line” and “cow-toeing”. The “cow” part could also elicit meaning connections in the sense of being docile, tame. Either of these by itself would be sufficient for eggcornicity.

Welcome to the Eggcorn Forum, Dianora!

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#5 2017-12-29 19:28:53

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2122
Website

Re: "cow-toes" for kowtows

Cowering and being a coward would likely be involved, not just general docility of cows?
.
In any case, cowing down is relevant, and the discussion at that point is especially so. See also cowtail < kowtow

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2017-12-29 19:30:25)


*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 .)

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