Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Social_nav_masthead_logged_in
 
until the cows come home

until the cows come home

Date: Dec 06 2007

Themes: Music, Pop Culture

Quote

1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

“I’m not interested in doing things that are comfortable. I can write PJ Harvey albums until the cows come home, but that doesn’t interest me.”

- British recording artist PJ Harvey on varying her sound. (Spin)

Definition

1. Definition - Study the definition.

indefinitely; without end; for a very long time

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

At one point in time, people must have waited around for their cows to come in at the end of the night. Apparently that was a very slow process because, although it no longer has anything to do with animals, the idiom until the cows come home means for a very, very long time.

PJ Harvey released her first solo album in 1995 and since then she has changed her style many times. She has used blues, different styles of rock, and outrageous costumes. Her latest album, White Chalk, finds her playing piano instead of guitar and singing dark songs.

Of course, many artists make records that all sound similar. But that doesn’t interest PJ Harvey. She says she could make the same record over and over until the end of time…or until the cows come home...but she doesn’t want to. She wants to try something new every time.

PJ Harvey uses until the cows come home to mean “many years” or “forever” but you can also use it to mean for a few hours if a few hours would be a long time in the context. You could say, “My father was very angry with me so he yelled until the cows came home. The expression is just used to describe an unusually long or outrageous amount of time for something to go on.

Examples

1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

“I can explain this to you until the cows come home but you’re just never going to get it until you try it.”

“Why, when I was a little girl, we’d light a fire and just sing and sing until the cows came home.”

Winners

1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

zeus2006 I guess,its meaning is for a very long time,or for ever.
by zeus2006Super Member!
for a long time
by samantha tan
for a very long time
by 永恒破灭者
a very long time
by apples cool
GavinZheng i think maybe it means for a long time.
by GavinZheng
liru Forever.
by liru
a large period of time
by isavander
for a very long time
by periwinkle.chic
endlessly
by DerIschkan
for a very long time
by wangjie
for ever; a long time
by alexan2008
for a long time, coz a cow can't find home once it gets lost
by sophie23
lira I think the answer is for a very long time
by lira
maitrang88 forever
by maitrang88
For a very very long time
by cesarmolina
endlessly
by Dikunia
rascal22 for a very long time; even forever.
by rascal22
VickG It means long long time.
by VickG
all day long...
by patricia_divina_velasquez
I think that it means "forever".
by Bai cq
babyxiao sine die, for an indefinite time, likely for ever.
by babyxiao
for a very long time
by Anne Tran
forevermore, sine die.
by babyfaceding
 el javis for long time
by el javis
3alloola Forever, or for a very long time.
by 3alloola
endlessly
by laly45
forever
by closs61
m@nuelm@d until the cows come home = lot of time...because cows are very slow animals.
by m@nuelm@d
annan69 forever
by annan69
For long time
by Stas21
laraxu on and on with no end
by laraxu
it sounds like " for a really long time"
by gumpa
endlessly
by Austinpowers
this means endlessly, "till the hell freezes over" :)
by JCool
For a very long time Forever
by Pinky Rose
untill end af the world
by ati_n
until the end of eternity
by ananddeva
dearpesar long time........ i think
by dearpesar
until forever
by john_ronand
I think it means doing some activity upto the extreme length. Or we can say that doing something for very long duration.
by neelofer
new-c Time refernce: for a long time, all day
by new-c
yu er means " forever "
by yu er
it means to an indefinite time or forever
by nomoregreen!
forever
by LO
its a phrase used for a very long time. e.i(We could talk about this problem until the cows come home, but it wouldn't solve anything). and (You can diet until the cows come home, and you still won't be a size 4).
by omar_beyaty

Want to guess next week's slang?

Go to the TOEFL® page >

Comments

Log in to Comment

slavador

Mexico

Hotmail Iniciar Sesion

10:30 AM Dec 23 2016 |

granbwa

granbwa

Haiti

for long long time ,no end.


02:27 PM Nov 18 2014 |

emma_cookie

China

In chinese we have a similar slang: until the flowers have withered away

05:29 PM Aug 14 2014 |

1 person likes this

englishbabysaba

Malaysia

The meeting keep on and on until the cows come home

12:44 AM Jun 28 2013 |

Prabal

India

I guess it’s meaning uncertainness / uncertain time.

09:26 PM May 12 2013 |

DaeNg

DaeNg

Thailand

Apart from very very longtime ,forever a few time, many years be possible may be its means  impossible too.  :)  

11:33 PM Mar 06 2013 |

jujort

Ecuador

I will love PJ Harvey until the cows come home… 

08:38 PM Feb 24 2013 |

CatcheR

CatcheR

Iceland

What music?

04:24 AM Apr 19 2012 |

CatcheR

CatcheR

Iceland

English baby will live till the cows come home , probably till the end of the world. lol

03:00 AM Mar 22 2012 |

dr S K Yadav

India

for a long time

10:30 PM Mar 21 2012 |

sonrah

sonrah

Algeria

very interesting. thanks.

01:53 AM Feb 16 2012 |

149613

149613

Azerbaijan

I really liked this slang.very interesting one.

06:36 AM Apr 21 2011 |

lynn629

lynn629

China

I’d like to find a better job i really love before the cows come home..

03:35 AM Mar 10 2011 |

tiger_bagira

Greece

NICE

02:51 AM Nov 14 2010 |

sandip_shd

India

i will not able to do a job until the cows come home

06:45 AM Jul 16 2010 |

spong bob

spong bob

Saudi Arabia

i want to improve my english befor the cows come homeFrown

 

12:56 PM Jun 27 2010 |

BAUM

Brazil

thx guys.  ive been  speaking english all the time for 2 years and ive nevr used this…

02:19 AM Jan 27 2010 |

Arual xD

Bhutan

muhahahahaha.

02:17 AM Jan 27 2010 |

smra_eng

Syrian Arab Republic

for a very long time

03:34 AM Jan 25 2010 |

benyamin14

benyamin14

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

for a long time

10:16 AM Dec 26 2009 |

Likes (328):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast