Macquarie Dictionary


Buy a ticket to the cow-pat lotto

This week we are buying tickets to the cow-pat lottoa form of lottery in which a cow is placed in a pristine paddock which has been divided into squares which are numbered and raffled off. The winner is decided by the fall of the first cow-pat.

While waiting for the plop to drop so to speak, we got thinking about other cow related slang words, and oh boy did we find a whole herd of them. 

To chase up a cow is to find a dry spot outdoors, usually with sexual intentions. In contrast, calling someone a cow is to call them a contemptible person. In fact, calling someone a miserable cow has been part of Aussie slang since the 1890s!

Cow confetti is a euphemism for bullshit, while in cricket a cow shot is a stroke made without style or discrimination.

Overall, it seems that cows get a bad rap in Aussie slang. Even a fair cow was early twentieth century slang for something distinctly unpleasant. Now, let’s check on that cow-pat, I’ve got my ticket ready.

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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