until the cows come home

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until the cows come home

also till the cows come home

Meaning:

  • for a very long time
  • for an indefinite time
  • forever

Example:

  1. We can keep on arguing about this till the cows come home, but it won’t solve anything.
  2. At the pace you are going, you won’t finish the project till the cows come home.
  3. You can keep on trying to convince till the cows come home, but I won’t change my views.
  4. You can keep reading about investing until the cows come home, but you won’t achieve anything unless you actually start investing.
  5. We can talk of all that’s wrong till the cows come home, but unless we act on them, there will not be any improvement.

Origin:
This phrase alludes to the time a herd of cows take to make their way home. Cows are very languid animals and take their own sweet time at an unhurried pace to return home. The phrase was first seen in print in 1829, but was probably in use before that.

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When I was much much younger, I’d be sitting and talking with my mom, and that’s when she’d say something about getting on with whatever before the cows came home? I do remember some of her funny expressions, BUT SHE LOVED MUSIC HALL and, reading about a lot of funny expressions that were used by comedians from that time, i.e., prior to and during the 2nd World War. I’m supposing that’s where it originated from!

‒ Marion Brodie January 13, 2023

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