“Bowling cows.”

E is a 35-year-old Irish female originally from Cork, Ireland. E currently runs a bed and breakfast with her husband outside out Cork, Ireland.

E performed this folklore over breakfast in the dining area of her bed and breakfast. I asked E if she had any Irish folklore she would be willing to share with me.

E: My husband has this saying, it’s an old Irish thing. Um, if-if you eat all your dinner basically and you’re full of, you’re gonna-you’re full of energy and now you’re feeling really strong and all that, and “I could bowl cows against the hill!” Is what it is, this old saying he has. And he was telling my German friend recently he was just-basically is you feel.. really strong that you could take on anything you could do anything. “Bowl cows against a hill” like in other words you’re gonna just, push the cows up the hill kinda thing. But, it doesn’t really make sense but it’s just a saying you know?

Reflection: To me, E’s saying invokes the same kind of emotion as other sayings like ”I’m on top of the world” or ”I feel like a million bucks” to express the feeling of self-empowerment one feels after eating a good meal. Even though E asserts that the saying doesn’t make sense to her, it at least makes sense within a geographical and cultural context. As E and her husband both live in a rural farming community and tend to livestock themselves, it makes sense that E’s husband’s expression of strength would have something to do with exerting power over something he toils over on a daily basis (cows).