a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Monday, June 18, 2012

Telling A Story...

I mentioned Hubby wouldn't cowtow to any one.  They said, what???  They had never heard the word so that got me curious. 

Had I made up a word?  In my mind, it meant bow down and be subservient. So I looked it up.

What  a relief!  I had it right although I could not remember for the life of me how I knew that word.  My friend and I live in the same area but sometimes we surprise each other with some old expressions.

According to Wikipedia, "Kowtow, which is borrowed from kòu tóu in Mandarin Chinese, is the act of deep respect shown by kneeling and bowing so low as to have one's head touching the ground.

In Han Chinese culture, the kowtow is the highest sign of reverence. It was widely used to show reverence for one's elders, superiors, and especially the Emperor, as well as for religious and cultural objects of worship. In modern times, usage of the kowtow has become much reduced."

And I looked some more...

Cowtow is also an acceptable spelling and has seeped into modern language.  Although not used often by many, some of us old folks still use it...and it fits perfectly.

Marcy said Granny Pruett used to say it so I guess it came from the Carolina's or from the age Granny lived.

Just thought I would share that.  Remember you don't have to kowtow to anyone anymore.





17 comments:

the canned quilter said...

I have heard my mother and father say it on occasion but rarely use the expression myself : )

Maalai said...

Hi all World historical events,Android apps tamil news,World news on android Breaking news for iphone

SaucyKod said...

I had never heard this expression before and and the only time I used it was when I met Queen Elizabeth, except I only partially bowed and did not go down on my knees. I was just a young girl back then, studying nursing in Merry Olde England. Kool Word Gail.

Buttons said...

I must live under a rock I have never heard of this world thanks for letting me know there is a lot of things to learn everyday in this world. B

Dreaming said...

I've heard it and used it before. The history behind it is very interesting. Thanks for the lesson!
Two things strike me; how interesting it is that words are localized, even with our ever-widening media and communication and two, how you can say a word hundreds of times, and suddenly it sounds odd when you say it and you aren't certain it is even a word!

Sandra said...

my family and myself have used that word all my life, you will hear it a lot in rural GA. i have said so many times, if you think I will cowtow to you, you're crazy. our usage is not showing reverence for sure, it means noway no how do i do what you say.. sig me Born Rebel

Country Gal said...

I did not know this till now ! Not a word or phrase thats used here in Canada . I use the frase that means the same thing and that is" to bend over backwards for some one "! Thanks for the info . Have a good day !

Jeannelle said...

I've known of this word since I was a kid but don't ever hear it used.

TexWisGirl said...

i've used cowtow my entire life. :)

Laurel's Quill said...

Had heard the expression many times...just never thought of how it would be spelled...at any rate, sounds like hubby has his horse pointed in the right direction. Have a good Monday, Gail!

Farm Girl said...

Yep, it was a common word in my house too.
I liked you sharing its origins. Reading history with my son this year, we learned about the Columbia.
My great grand mother would say, Hail Columbia! that was her curse word.
She lived in Arkansas for awhile too. :)

carolina nana said...

Cowtow might have came from the Carolinas because I am familiar with the word and we still use it in the mountains of NC.
But it has been said that we are years behind the rest of the country any way and to me that's not always a bad thing !!!
Blessings
Marilyn

LindaG said...

I remember the word. I'm from Michigan. Though I don't know that I ever used it. I used to read lots and lots, and loved Tarzan, The Lone Ranger, and stuff like that; so I could have learned it there, too. ;o)

Sue said...

My dad often used that expression.

=)

Far Side of Fifty said...

I have been known to say cowtow too! Don't know when I first heard it:)

Pat said...

I've heard this expression before but I've never used it.

Let's face it, ALL men should kowtow to their wives! HA HA HA!

Pam Lofton said...

I've heard that expression my entire life. And I don't cowtow to anyone either. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...