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Hay is for horses, better for cows...

Hay is for horses, better for cows...

Postby eberntson » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:31 am

Hay if for horses, better for cows, pigs don't eat it 'cause they don't know how!

History, usages, anything about this phrase that I obnoxiously repeat each time people "HEY!" me.
EBERNTSON
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
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Postby Slava » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:37 pm

I've heard another version, but I can't for the life of me remember the middle lines.

Hay is for Horses,
X (straw?) is cheaper,
Y (grass?) is free,
If you're a farmer,
You get all three.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Postby bnjtokyo » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:35 am

I found this

Hay is for horses
Straw is cheaper
And grass is for free.
If you marry the farmer's daughter
Then you'll get all three

but it doesn't scan.

Another version that scans better

Hay is for horses
Straw is cheaper
Grass ain't free.
Go to a farm
You can get all three

Another version with better logic

Hay is for horses
Straw is cheaper
Grass is free.
Buy a farm
Get all three

Maybe one of these will jiggle your memory.
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Postby Slava » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:19 pm

bnjtokyo wrote:
Hay is for horses
Straw is cheaper
Grass ain't free.
Go to a farm
You can get all three

Another version with better logic

Hay is for horses
Straw is cheaper
Grass is free.
Buy a farm
Get all three

Maybe one of these will jiggle your memory.
Thanks for these Mr. Tokyo. Both work well, though in the first I'd switch the ain't for is and drop the can in the last line. Then again, that's pretty much what the last one is, innit?
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Postby Stargzer » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:01 pm

I went a-searching and found a Yahoo! Answers entry that I rather like:

Hay is for horses but cows eat it to.
If you don't be quiet I'll feed some to you.


and a Wikipedia Reference Desk article which has these gems:

I never heard the extension "and grass is cheaper". My mother always said "hay is for horses" as a way of reminding us children to be more polite when getting someone's attention than saying simply "Hey!"

...

"Hay for horses" is also the first line of the Cockney alphabet. See here.

...

"Hay is for horses, straw is for cows, milk is for little pigs, and wash for old sows" is at least Victorian and probably much older whilst the "Hay is for horses" response to "Hey" is recorded by Jonathan Swift

...

I came from the west coast and we simply said "Hay is for horses, aren't you glad you're a pig."


I kind of like that last one. :twisted:

Another find:

This idiom is used as a way of telling children not to say the word 'hey' as in hey you or hey there.


And another Yahoo! Answer:

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

It's not a riddle. I used to hear this all the time when I was younger. Whenever I said "Hey," someone would say to me "Hay is for horses." To which I would reply (smart*** that I was), "True, but grass is cheaper." I never did know when to stop talking. Oh well. Live and learn.


Now with this entry the longer rhymes begin make sense as an obligatory back-and-forth dialog:

Me: "Hey, you!"
You: "Hay is for horses!"
Me: "True, but straw is cheaper!"
You: "Yeah, but grass is free!"
Me: "Well then go buy a farm and get all three!"


From somone's blog:

Hay is for Horses, better for Cows, Pigs don't eat it, 'cause they don't know how.

My brother taught me that when I was little and I always remember the time we sat there going over it again and again until I got it right. I love saying it to this day because it brings back those warm memories.


A reply to a post:

“Hay is for horses not for cows that’s why you have big eyebrows”.


Finding other sources is left as an exercise for the student. :wink:
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby saparris » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:58 pm

Hay is for horses
Corn is for cows
To fatten them up
For the slaughterhouse

Switch their food
And before too long
We'd bet on the bulls
And eat Filly Mignon
Ars longa, vita brevis
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Postby Slava » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:07 pm

Neigh, it'll never happen.
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Postby saparris » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:18 pm

I'm not tap tap tapping my hoof on it either, Wilbur.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:13 pm

saparris wrote:Hay is for horses
Corn is for cows
To fatten them up
For the slaughterhouse

Switch their food
And before too long
We'd bet on the bulls
And eat Filly Mignon





Corn-fed cattle is what we live for out here. When in Rome....
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby saparris » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:25 pm

The Great Plains: home of corn fed beef, and where the buffalo are Roman.
Ars longa, vita brevis
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:37 pm

And the politicians speak bull.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby saparris » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:18 pm

And even the cows are fed up.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:19 pm

Must be something they 'et.
Or had stuffed down their throats.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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