Till the cows come home

Till the cows come home is an idiom that has been in use for quite awhile. We will examine the meaning of the idiom till the cows come home, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

The idiom till the cows come home means a long time. The image is of a herd of cows slowly meandering through a pasture to their farm. Cows generally are never in a hurry. The idiom till the cows come home has been in use since at least the sixteenth century and may have originated in the Scottish Highlands, where cows are allowed to graze for months at a time before they meander home in the fall.

Examples

Any other day and you’d catch me writing till the cows come home about the importance of devotion and allegiance but today is not like any other day. (The Gold Coast Bulletin)

Now my tail is back to normal and I can wag it till the cows come home. (The Independent)

Unless one’s the great Dr Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in a prison at Robben Island, chances are that a lockdown, house arrest or forced confinement may render people temporarily destabilized and the after effects or ripple effects linger on till the cows come home. (The Free Press Journal)