how now brown cow

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how now brown cow

A humorous salutation that likely originated as a vocal exercise. How now, brown cow? Good to see you again.
See also: brown, cow, how, now

How now, brown cow?

A playful greeting. The phrase began as a way for would-be actors and orators to develop round, “pear-shaped” vowels in their voice, the kind of “the rain in Spain . . .” elocution exercise that Professor Higgins had Eliza do in My Fair Lady. The “how now?” salutation phrase became an open invitation to performers and nonperformers alike to greet friends with the entire expression. But that was then, and “whazzup?” and “what's happenin'?” is how it's now done.
See also: brown, how
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