Do you intend to play video games all day? You could say you’re glued to the screen ’till the cows come home.’ This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.
The expression ’till the cows come home’ means you’re waiting for something for a long time. Or you’re involved in a task that seems to take forever to complete.
‘Til the cows come home’ means you’re involved in a task for an indefinite period, and you have no idea when it will finish. The saying refers to a long or unlimited time frame.
“It’s taking forever for the chef to make this dish. I feel like we’ve been waiting til the cows come home for it to arrive.”
“I can’t wait for the new GTA game to release. I feel like we’ve been waiting for the cows to come home with this update.”
“I’ve been sitting here waiting for the cows to come home. How did it take you so long to drive four blocks?”
“I’m waiting for the cows to come home over here. This is taking forever, and I don’t know if I have the patience to wait it out any longer.”
“I feel like I’ve been waiting for the cows to come home, and the education department still hasn’t posted the SAT results.”
“I’ve been waiting on the supplier for hours. I’ll have to sit here until the cows come home at this rate.”
“I could watch that show ‘Better Call Saul’ until the cows come home. It’s so funny and shot so well. There is no better show on TV right now.”
“I feel like I could listen to punk rock until the cows come home. It’s my favorite music genre, and I have it playing in the background all day.’
“I feel like I could eat Mcdonald’s until the cows come home. I love the Fillet O Fish and the quarter pounder. I wish I could eat them every day.”
The expression ’till the cows come home’ originates from farming culture. Cows will leave their shelter in the morning and spend all day in the field grazing. The cows will come home as the sun sets, usually moving at a slow pace.
The first use of the expression in idiomatic language comes from the early 19th century. The phrase appeared in ‘The Times,’ a British newspaper, in 1829, where it reads as follows.
“If the Duke will but do what he unquestionably can do and propose a Catholic Bill with securities, he may be Minister, as they say in Scotland, ‘until the cows come home.'”
Phrases Similar to Till the Cows Come Home
- Lasting a lifetime.
- No end in sight.
- Until the end of time.
Phrases Opposite to Till the Cows Come Home
- Short and sweet.
- In a rush.
- In a moment.
What is the Correct Saying?
- Til the cows come home.
Ways People May Say Till the Cows Come Home Incorrectly
The phrase ’til the cows come home’ has nothing to do with cows going home. It’s a way of describing how something can last for a long time or forever. Using it to describe the daily habits of cows on a farm is incorrect.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase Till the Cows Come Home
You can use the expression ’til the cows come home’ in social and professional settings. The phrase refers to something lasting forever or for a really long time. So, you could use it at work to describe how you’ll keep closing deals for the company ’till the cows come home,’ or how your boss drones on about procedure ’til the cows come home.’
You could use it with friends to describe how you could watch Ozark until the cows come home because you find it engaging and thrilling. Or you could say you could eat barbeque ‘until the cows come home’ because it’s your favorite food.