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Fun quiz: What is the non-gender-specific English word for one cow (or for one b

  1. Larry Fields profile image79
    Larry Fieldsposted 3 years ago

    Fun quiz: What is the non-gender-specific English word for one cow (or for one bull)?

    The plural form for more than one of these animals is “cattle.” Of course, you word sleuths could look it up in Wikipedia. But that would not be sporting, would it? smile


  2. Tusitala Tom profile image61
    Tusitala Tomposted 3 years ago

    The word 'bovine' springs to mind.  Look it up.  I haven't.  Pretty sure it's got to do with cattle and is, of course, non-gender.

    1. lawdoctorlee profile image86
      lawdoctorleeposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      You got it, Tom!  Bovine - a member of the genus Bos.

  3. connorj profile image76
    connorjposted 3 years ago


    I believe the answer is already posted; bovine yet to me it is always beef and I hold no gender bias...

  4. teamrn profile image69
    teamrnposted 3 years ago

    'Sow' comes  to mind. But when I think about it I'm not really sure

    1. Nadia Ribadu profile image60
      Nadia Ribaduposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Not "sow," because it refers--especially derogatorily these days, to a female swine.  I think the questioner said NON-gender words.  Besides, I don't think a sow is bovine but porcine.

  5. gposchman profile image84
    gposchmanposted 3 years ago

    I do believe bovine refers to the species, and might be the answer you are looking for.

    As I read the various responses I found them interesting. I grew up on a ranch, next to a dairy. Mainly we dealt with horses, but we did have a cow, who did have a calf, that became a bull. The Dairy had cows. The auction house down the road sold horses, cattle, cows, and bulls. Nobody said anything about bovines except in use as a slur about ones mental capacity.

    I believe steak is a reference to male bovines. I suppose dairy cows that have run the course might have been butchered, but I cannot honestly say. Cattle ranches have both male and female, but when speaking of an individual animal it was always a cow or a bull.

    We may have here a true example of gender equality; in the sense when referring to an individual we say male of female, and when we refer to the group we use a term that is truly gender neutral.

    I'm to sure how cats feel about their identity being usurped to refer to a large group of bovines. Shouldn't a herd of cats be cattle. I wonder with all the animal right groups out there their cause has not been taken up.

    As a kid growing up, it was bulls, cows, and cattle for a group of animals. It was cow or bull for an individual, and I think it was because it was pretty clear what the individual was even at a distance. I never met anyone so out of it, that they tried to milk a bull (Reference to the way Robert Mitchum went in "What a Way To Go". And lets face it a matador yelling "Ha Vaca!" at a cow wouldn't have been much of a show.

    Gene Poschman

  6. Nadia Ribadu profile image60
    Nadia Ribaduposted 3 years ago

    "Bovine," for one, a "taurine," especially in the case of bulls.  You know, as in the sign Taurus.

  7. alancaster149 profile image85
    alancaster149posted 3 years ago

    'Kine' might be the word you're looking for. 'Kine' describes cattle in multiples or singular, it also encompasses wild cattle and buffalo - all hoofed creatures that chew the cud.

    1. alancaster149 profile image85
      alancaster149posted 3 years agoin reply to this

      'Bovine' is the adjective, or nature of cattle, 'kine' is the archaic plural still in use

  8. Dr. Arthur Ide profile image76
    Dr. Arthur Ideposted 3 years ago

    In the genus of Bos, a group of four-legged animals, there are cows. The adult male is the bull. The adult female is bovine. The male child is a calf. The female child is a heifer. It is wrong to term all "cows" except as a family nomenclature. The only female "cow" is a female dolphin.

    It is sad that people have become philologically lazy.  Each species has subsets and all have distinctive names.

  9. Larry Fields profile image79
    Larry Fieldsposted 3 years ago

    The best word here is "Aurochs," also known by the scientific name, "Bos primigenius." The singular and plural words, "aurochs" and aurochs," are the same, as is the case with "sheep" and sheep."

    The aurochs was the common ancestor of both European cattle, and of the Indian equivalent, "zebu."

    One could split hairs, and argue that the aurochs -- had it not gone the way of the dodo -- should be classified as a separate species from cattle. Precedent: domesticated dogs (Canus familiaris) and their ancestor, the wolf (Canus lupus).

    Thanks one and all. I'd like to add that it was very sporting of you to resist the temptation to take the Wikipedia shortcut.

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