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Mugient

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Mugient

Postby Slava » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:00 pm

More just for the fun of it than really expecting it to be taken up, but I thought I'd toss this one your way.

It means "lowing" or "bellowing." Who knew that cows actually do moo?
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Re: Mugient

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:03 pm

Are plastic cows mugient? I was thinking of putting a heard of them on my front lawn, but the neighbors might complain if they make too much noise.

RL Stevenson's friendly cow wandered lowing here and there. If nostalgia fills your heart over this poetic line, and you do not have your childhood copy, see the following link for a refresher.
http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/s ... erses.html
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Re: Mugient

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:14 am

Lowing and bellowing are not the same to me. When I read or hear lowing I think of a low sound, perhaps drawn out, as if cattle or sheep were murmurring. Bellowing, on the other hand, is loud and either complaining or calling ov a distance. Anyone else make that distinction?
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Re: Mugient

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:53 am

Cows low and bellow. Blowhard people bellow. I can't find any reference to anything but a cow lowing. Yes, lowing is a pleasant sound to those of a bucolic bent, myself included.

Do cows include males and females? My daddy told me that a cow was a female and a bull was a male of the cattle species. Other species also have female cows and male bulls. Cattle bulls bellow when they are bellicose. When they are in heat, they screech. Since cattle is a collective noun there can't be a single cattle. Does English need some improvement here?
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Re: Mugient

Postby Audiendus » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:26 am

The French national anthem La Marseillaise includes the following lines:

Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
(Do you hear those ferocious soldiers bellow [or low] in the countryside?)

The syllable "Mu" is sung on a long, deep, accented note for imitative effect. More of a moo than a shout.
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Re: Mugient

Postby Slava » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:39 pm

Going back a few posts, yes, I agree lowing and bellowing are quite different sounds. However, I do think cattle make both sounds.

As to cows v cattle: aye, cattle is perhaps the proper term, but cows is also generally accepted. This is one of those points where we dispute the rules over how the "real" people use the language.
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Re: Mugient

Postby gailr » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:33 pm

"Cows" is an interesting exception to the norm of using a masculine word to indicate both the whole population and the males therein, with a separate term to indicate female members.
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Re: Mugient

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:35 pm

Our sensitive and delicate Victorian ancestors were wont to say gentleman cow instead of bull.
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Re: Mugient

Postby gailr » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:51 pm

^ I knew about covering the limbs of pianos and such, but truly? :shock:
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Re: Mugient

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:04 pm

Truth.
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Re: Mugient

Postby gailr » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:42 am

The mind boggles.
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