A Linguistic Divide: Cow Tipping vs. Fly-tipping

When I read Private landowners face increasing costs and fines as fly-tipping reaches one million cases a year, I immediately thought of the urban legend of cow tipping.

Stories about cow tipping usually involve intoxicated people who attempt to push over, “tip,” a sleeping cow onto its side.

Before you verify for yourself that such deeds are urban legends, be aware that cows are quite large, often accompanied by bulls and always owned by people who take exception to drunks molesting their cattle at night. You have been warned.

When the story mentioned England and Wales, the idea of “fly-tipping” made a little more sense but not the increased costs and fines.

Who cares if drunk English/Welshmen want to tip over flies or not?

It does sound very British doesn’t it?

In any event, reading further revealed the unfortunate usage of “fly-tipping,” to mean “illegal dumping.”

Why the British have departed from the mainstream usage of “illegal dumping” to use “fly-tipping” isn’t clear.

But, if you are making a list of ill-advised synonyms, be sure to add “fly-tipping” to your list.

Comments are closed.