Posted by ESC on March 04, 2003
In Reply to: Why you'll wait for cows posted by Word camel on March 04, 2003
: : : : I'm trying to find another expression that means a long but indefinate time - like the cows come home, but not this phrase
: : : When pigs fly (this actually goes back to the
: : : When hell freezes over.
: : : It'll be a long, hot day in the middle of December when XXXX.
: : : Those mean an infinitely long wait, but "till the cows come home" is often used that way, too.
: : LONG TIME -- Coon's age; a month a Sundays, which is about seven months in duration; quite a spell; a long spell; since God knows when; a right smart spell; till a snapping turtle turns loose. From "This Dog'll Hunt: An Entertaining Texas Dictionary" by Wallace O. Chariton (Wordware Publishing, Piano, Texas, 1989, 1990)
: On a visit to a farm in Kansas, I learned why waiting till the cows come home is a long time. It seems, at least on this farm, that the cows would not come home on their own. Every evening the farmer had to walk out to the pasture to escort the cows back to the barn to be milked. He never had to actually *do* anything to the cows to get them to walk back to the barn with him, but they had so little initiative they were incapable of figuring out that they needed to return to the barn on their own.
: Further evidence, if any was needed as to why camels are superior.
On our farm the cows came home on their own. They would be up on the hill in the fields. Early evening you could hear the bell on the lead cow as the herd came down the path to be milked.