Friday, 5 February 2010


I can't stop smiling at this word. Apologies if you already knew this - I hadn't heard of it before. What a brilliant word!

yakow n an animal crossbred from a male yak and a domestic cow. [yak and cow] Chambers, 1998

Not only is it a wonderful example of the simple adaptability of language (and indeed animal breeding), but it sounds like it should be a sound effect in a comic. YAKOW!

And in case you were wondering, my Chambers doesn't list any words to describe an animal crossbred from a female yak and a domestic bull, though I did try looking up cowak, cowyak and coyak. The only other amusing related word I found was this (and note the origins of "cow" - very interesting):

cowpuncher (US colloq) a cowboy; a herder of cows [Origin of cow from Old English cu, German Kuh and Sanskrit go a bull, cow]

Oh no! The cowpuncher's gone for the big one: YAKOW!

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