chew the/(one's) cud

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chew the/(one's) cud

To contemplate something. ("Cud" is partially digested food that is regurgitated to be chewed again, a common behavior of cows.) I've been chewing my cud for days, but I still haven't decided whether I'm taking the job or not. Sometimes you just need to stop chewing the cud and make a decision.
See also: chew, cud
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

chew one's cud

Fig. to think deeply; to be deeply involved in private thought. (Alludes to the cow's habit of bringing food back from the first stomach into the mouth to chew it, called chewing the cud.) He's chewing his cud about what to do next.
See also: chew, cud
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

chew the cud

Also, chew over. Ponder over, meditate, as in John tends to chew the cud before he answers, or Let me chew that over and let you know. The first term, first recorded in 1382, transfers the appearance of a patiently ruminating cow to a person deep in thought. The variant was first recorded in 1696.
See also: chew, cud
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

chew the cud

1 (of a ruminant animal) further chew partly digested food. 2 think or talk reflectively.
2 1992 DJ We chewed the cud, drank a few beers and at the end of the meal, Malu asked if I wanted to hit a club.
See also: chew, cud
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

chew the cud

Slang
To ponder over; meditate.
See also: chew, cud
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
the cows in the field COULD be chewing their CUD or WOULD they prefer to
"Students can now quantify rumination as opposed to just seeing cows chewing their cud, as well as the effects any changes in diet, health and oestrus activity has on rumination."
Few things in life are as restful and calming as a group of cattle resting in the shade of some tree while chewing their cud.
Ms Stelfox then quotes the FAWC reporting that in the industrialised, mechanical slaughter process the cows walk into the pen chewing their cud as a bolt is fired into their skulls.
One of my favourite jobs is looking round the cows at night whether they are outside in the summer or inside during the winter - it is wonderful how quiet it is and to see the cows licking each other, eating or lying down chewing their cud.
Both eat the coarse woody vegetation of winter, gathering it quickly and then processing it in a large three-chambered stomach, spending long hours lying down "chewing their cud." This heat-producing, fermenting vegetation probably acts as a built-in natural "heater," helping to keep them warm.
Few things in life are as restful and calming as a group of cattle resting in the shade of some tree while chewing their cud. And they do have a mischievous side, especially in the fall when fallen apples garnish the countryside.
THE cows were out chewing their cud as I walked past with the dog.