Famous Quotes & Happiness

Taking the bull by the horns test

 Take the bull by the horns

Another cattle-related English cliché now. To “take the bull by the horns” is to tackle a problem head-on, in a direct and confident manner. The phrase stems from the fact that taking a bull (a male cow) by its horns is a courageous way of dealing with it. Here’s an example of this phrase being used:

“It’s time to take the bull by the horns and hand in your notice.”

This isn’t the only English cliché involving the bull. Another one is “a bull in a china shop”, used to describe someone who is extremely clumsy and liable to cause damage by knocking things over. More figuratively speaking, “bull in a china shop” can also refer to someone who takes a tactless or shambolic approach to a situation or project.


This was an expression that a friend of mine quoted to me prior to me going into the nursing program . We were not at our best financial time, my husband was out of work and we had two small children , who goes to school full time when this is your situation. well that is exactly what I did , I took Patty’s words of advice and applied for nursing school . My original intention was to go into the general nursing program but it was full and there was a wait list  and I didn’t want to wait any longer. There was an opening in the psychiatric nursing program so applied and got in and I have never looked back again.  it was a great choice. this is where I was meant to be. Several colleagues over the years have said to me” you are so relaxed nothing seems to phase you.” Well that probably isn’t totally true for sure . there were moments but not many. so far I have not been hit or injured on the job so I think that is a good sign.  I am still working after 35 years of graduation but I know it is almost time to close the door on this chapter of my life.

So once again I will take the bull by the horns and take a different path of least resistance . I have many irons in the fire to burn.

until the cows come home test

 Until the cows come home

Image shows cows crossing a country road.

Cows, presumably in the process of coming home.

Moving on to slightly older and more interesting clichés, the phrase “until the cows come home” is used to signify a very long period of time, particularly in the context of carrying out a futile task. An example of its use is:

“You can argue your case until the cows come home, but you still won’t convince me.”

While the origin of this expression isn’t known for certain, it’s thought to allude to the fact that a herd of cows returns home in the morning to be milked. An alternative reading suggests that the expression is Scottish in origin, and refers to the fact that the cattle grazing on the highlands stay out all summer, gorging themselves on the abundant grass, until they run out of food in the autumn and return home. This is one of a number of common English expressions arising from our agricultural past; it’s probably been around for hundreds of years.