I had no idea, but that's exactly the kind of random thing I like to find out.
We all know the basic gist of the phrase: partying or doing something else for a really long time, such as late into the night.
But where do the cows fit in? And why use cows when they're such lazy, unmotivated creatures?
Ah, so that's where my handy research came in.
Cows are lazy, yes. But there is one time they're very motivated: when their udders are filled up and it's time for milking. If they're full of milk and don't get relief, you'll hear them lowing and mooing all over the place because they're uncomfortable.
(Mothers out there who have nursed babies, you know what they're feeling, right? OUCH!)
So the idea is that you can hang out all night and party until it's milking time in the wee hours of the morning: when the cows, on their own, will decide that hey, let's go home to get some relief, because we're kinda hurting.
According to the OED, 'til the cows come home has been in use since at least 1610. One website touts that it's been around centuries longer, but the quotes they used to verify the claim are, to me, obviously modern references to historical events, so I'm going with the OED on this one.
(I didn't write down who first asked the question, so if it was you, be sure to say so in the comments so you can get credit!)
TODAY, 6:30 PM PACIFIC TIME, (that's 7:30 pm for Utah folks), I get to be part of my first-ever Twitter party. It's hosted by Busy Mommy Media, and we'll be talking about Band of Sisters and specifically how to support military families.
FIVE prizes will be awarded, three copies of Band of Sisters, and two copies of There, Their, They're.
For details and to learn how to participate, visit the "Mom Storm" page for the party at Busy Mommy Media HERE.
Hope to see you there!