Bill and Coo – Idiom, Origin & Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Have you ever heard of billing and cooing? It’s a head-scratcher, for sure. But it’s a saying in English that has an adorable meaning behind it. I’ll tell you all about it with a quick dive into its origin and share some sentence examples showing how to use it. Cuddle up!

What Does It Mean to Bill and Coo?

Bill and Coo Idiom Origin Meaning

To bill and coo means to exchange affectionate gestures or words, much like two lovebirds. We usually use this idiom to describe a couple deeply in love, expressing their feelings through sweet whispers, tender touches or soulful gazes. It’s the language equivalent of watching a romantic sunset or reading a heartfelt love letter.

Where Does Bill and Coo Come From? Origin and Etymology

Bill and Coo Ngram
Bill and coo usage trend.

This phrase originated sometime during the 1700s. Bill and coo are terms describing the behavior of doves and pigeons, known for their loving courtship rituals. “Bill” refers to the act of touching beaks, while “coo” refers to the soft, affectionate sounds they make.

It was adopted into the English language around the late 19th century to describe similar affectionate behavior among humans.

What Is a Synonym for Bill and Coo?

Oh, there are so many words and phrases you can say instead of bill and coo. Here are just a few to get you going:

  • Whisper sweet nothings
  • Canoodle
  • Snuggle
  • Cuddle up
  • Netflix and chill
  • Smooch
  • Cozy up
  • Neck (now, there’s an old-fashioned one for you!)
  • Make love
  • Be all over each other
  • Spoon

Bill and Coo Examples in a Sentence

Bill and Coo Idiom Origin Meaning 1

And here’s how to use this adorable phrase in a sentence, whether in writing or in conversation.

  • As newlyweds, we spent our whole honeymoon billing and cooing with each other.
  • Sarah and John were seen billing and cooing on the park bench, but John is married.
  • It was an awkward dinner party because the couple couldn’t stop billing and cooing over dinner.
  • She found it nauseating to watch her brother and his girlfriend bill and coo.
  • They spent the whole party billing and cooing in the corner.
  • It’s so cute to see my grandparents still bill and coo after all these years. I hope my husband and I are the same way.
  • James needed to have a serious conversation, but his girlfriend just wanted to bill and coo.
  • Watching the lovebirds bill and coo reminded me of my early days with my wife.
  • We just spent our date night at home, billing and cooing on the couch while binging our favorite show on Netflix.
  • The movie’s main characters were always billing and cooing, which some viewers found excessive.

Cool Off Yet?

From feathered fancies to human romances, billing and cooing is a charming idiom that captures affectionate exchanges. Keep this lovey-dovey term in your pocket for when you need to describe some serious PDA. Have a quick look around our site for more of my idiom guides!