Posted by ESC on October 07, 2000
In Reply to: Beef posted by Sauerkraut on October 06, 2000
: Why do we use the word to mean a complaint or gripe?
: Where did this meaning come from?
BEEF - "In order to get them from their ranges to railroads, herds of beef cattle were once forced to trot for day after day in all kinds of weather.Residents of railhead cow towns didn't need to be told when a rancher and his cowpokes were getting close - noise made by the 'beef' could be heard for miles. Cattle drives are long gone, but a person who is loud in finding fault is still said to 'beef' - or bellow like a tired and thirsty steer." From "Why You Say It" by Webb Garrison (Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, Tenn., 1992).