OX vs bull?

11 replies
1 2
What do we call for a male cow?

Ox or bull?
Veteran Member7,341
Hi,
A bull.

Clive
Veteran Member67,729
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Why don't we say "ox"? why?
Hi,
The term 'ox' is usually used only for the large animal used to pull carts, ploughs and other heavy loads. I believe such animals are still commonly used in various Asian countries.

An 'ox' may refer to a male or to a female.
The plural is 'oxen'.

Here's an ox. I believe an ox is larger than a bull usually, but it's hard to see size in a picture.
http://www.molon.de/galleries/Myanmar/Agriculture/img.php?pic=16

http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/ox.html

Clive
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According to the dictionary, the difference is that an ox is castrated, and a bull is not. A steer is a young castrated male. When he becomes an adult, he is then called an ox.
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AlpheccaStarsAccording to the dictionary, the difference is that an ox is castrated, and a bull is not. A steer is a young castrated male. When he becomes an adult, he is then called an ox.

Well the things you learn!
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Him,
My dictionary has these meanings.
1. Any bovine animal, especially a large, usually horned, domesticated ruminant used for draft, for suplying milk, and for eating as meat.

2. A castrated male of a domesticated species of cattle

3. A foolish, clumsy person

Perhaps farmers in N. America speak of 'an ox' with meaning #2, but personally I've never heard that term in a modern farming context here. But I don't often talk to farmers. Maybe they just slaughter the poor steers before they have a chance to grow up and become oxen?

I think that in everyday speech, meaning #1 is the common one, with the focus on 'used for draft'. Isn't that why we say 'He's as strong as an ox'? ( Anyway, we don't mean he's castrated. )

Clive
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Well, it would explain a difference between an ox and a bull.
A bull might not make a good draft animal for plowing or pulling carts - if he is distracted by cows, it might upset the cart..
In #1, ox is used for both male and female, but I'd wager that the males used as draft animals are fixed
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Anonymous:
A male cow is a Bull. An Ox also is a Bull. To clear things up this will help you. An OX is a male cow that has reached full sexual maturity and has been castrated. A steer is a male cow that has not reached sexual maturity that has been castrated. So the only diffrence between a male cow, a bull, a ox, and a steer, is the age and rather or not he has testicles.
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