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Cow Eyes

What does it mean when someone says you have cow eyes? I’ve heard a bunch of answers but I don’t know which is right. I have been told it means:

- Your eyes kind of stick out (like Steve Buscemi) - Your eyes are different colors (I guess this is common among cows? I know it’s common among certains dogs and cats) - Your eyes have a sad look to them (cause cows look sad?) - You have a stare that suggests you are “hot to trot” - You have a blank, empty stare.

Any ideas what this really means?

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As a vet student I would like to point out that I have never seen or heard of cows with odd-coloured eyes.
I think it means you have sad eyes but I suppose different people decide on their own meanings.

grasshopper February 23, 2006, 7:07am

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Found this by googling "cow eyes" idiom. Does it help?

: : 1) "To cast sheep's eyes" (at someone)
also to make cow's eyes at somebody - is an expression for looking coy or docile yet clearly intending that the person looked at will find the looker attractive. It is a dismissive remark, used more often by girls/women about another female. [It appears that any non-asertive animal can be used in the expression.]
usage e.g Once Simon had left the room, Sally stood over Emily and said "You conniving bitch! How dare you sit there and make sheep's eyes at Simon all the time I've been here? You know he's mine, all mine!

Janet February 23, 2006, 1:06pm

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When I tell someone they have cow eyes, I'm saying they have big, sweet eyes like a cow.. Large, docile eyes I suppose.. I love people with "cow eyes".. Beautiful!

MightyGhibli February 23, 2006, 10:56pm

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In a book by the author of Anne of Green Gables, the main character has a suitor with large, dark, soulful eyes. Later she changes her mind about him, and says "cruelly" that he has cow eyes. So it's somewhere between your third and fifth suggestion, I guess.

Abigail March 21, 2006, 8:57pm

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The term is over 4 thousand years old. It means you have big beautiful eyes. Take a close look at a cow eyes and it will become clear.

Phil June 14, 2006, 12:16pm

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I have heard the phrase Cow Eyes used to describe a naturally occuring development in human eyes where the pupil is open wide at almost all times allowing light to reach the back of the eyeball. This is normally due to an eyeball that is greater in size than normally develops. It does not in anyway impede the eyesight but it does however look different from normal eyes.

Marbles August 18, 2006, 10:15am

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Perhaps a distinction has to be made between:
1. making cow eyes (flirting coyly)
2. having cow eyes (having large beautiful eyes)?

David Fickett-Wilbar September 1, 2006, 7:32pm

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what cows eyes mean as a name?

www.gulfclosings December 1, 2006, 5:51pm

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I think that people with cow eyes are great but that doesn't mean that people need to mean or anything like that about it. I think that just because your a little different from everyone else doesn't give you the right to just act like an unsliville person to everyone that's not like you in the lest little bit... Well as far as it goes for me I think that it's a great thing that people are different and that we're not all the same. I think that most people with cow eyes are pretty, and are even more pretty then the rest of us. I say us because I don't have cow eyes. It's such a shame, but just one of those things that I've got to deal with.
Caitlin Moody from Inman S.C.

redhead199214 March 1, 2007, 2:36am

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I think cow eyes are beautiful.

Stephs March 27, 2007, 2:01am

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As far as I'm aware it's a soft, sad look.

Statuess March 27, 2007, 7:50pm

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what in the name of the lord is this all about that i cant figure out

Anonymous May 8, 2007, 6:58am

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answer: 2

Anonymous May 17, 2007, 8:54am

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When you approach a cow, they tend to open their eyes very wide as if in watchful response to a stimulus that could be threatening. So therefore, I always thought "cow eyes" meant someone who had a wary, and somewhat distrustful or uncertain expression.

Phil June 27, 2007, 10:10am

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I'm not familiar with the expression, but when "cow" is used as a verb, it means to threaten or intimidate. The implication is that cows are docile, submissive, easily dominated creatures. It makes sense that "cow eyes" could mean a lookof coyness, docility, submission, showing one's soft white underbelly.

porsche June 28, 2007, 5:08am

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i always thought it meant big, sad, doleful eyes... and that someone would "give you cow eyes" in order to make you feel sorry for them and to get their way.

k June 4, 2008, 8:09am

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My girlfriend told me the other day that I have cow eyes. I should have asked her what she meant. I think though that people routinely and incorrectly mistake non-aggressive eyes for being non-assertive.

michael_672 November 29, 2008, 2:25pm

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TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT. when someone says you have doe or cow eyes tht means you have big beautiful eyes. cws and does have big beautiful eyes. some may tak it as a insult, DONT. ITS A GOOD THING.!!!!!!!!!!!

kristykream54 May 9, 2010, 7:55pm

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OMG People!! You all are soo mistaken and I can't believe no one has mentioned this yet! Cow eyes or "bovine eyes," as one Brazilian professor once put it, is NOT a compliment. It means having a bored or disconnected look in your eye. Audrina Patridge from The Hills and Dancing with the Stars has permanant cow eyes or the "dead behind the eyes" look as I once heard a comedian describe her. You can't really use "sad" as a synonym for this...

adams_brandie September 23, 2010, 4:13am

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I prefer the Spanish: "ojos de vaca".

Doc April 21, 2011, 9:48am

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jonge die koeie zijn klootjongens slecht voor de milieu

gert-jan October 30, 2012, 9:01pm

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The post that said the phrase is 4,000 years old and the phrase is a compliment is correct. In Greek mythology, the goddess Hera was described as "cow-eyed".

Lbart January 8, 2013, 8:31am

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"Hot to trot?" That would be 'bedroom eyes'.

Skeeter Lewis January 9, 2013, 1:52am

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Yes     No