sacred cow


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a sacred cow

Something so special or respected that it is not be questioned or disparaged. The phrase refers to the veneration of the cow in Hinduism. If work is such a sacred cow for him, are you sure he's not an workaholic?
See also: cow, sacred

sacred cow

Something that is considered above reproach or immune to negative criticism. (An allusion to cows' sacred status in the Hindu religion.) One thing you have to understand is that freedom of speech is one of the sacred cows of American culture and politics. The book has always been John's sacred cow—if you try to point out any of its flaws, he'll fly off on a tirade against you.
See also: cow, sacred

sacred cow

Fig. something that is regarded by some people with such respect and veneration that they do not like it being criticized by anyone in any way. (From the fact that the cow is regarded as sacred in India and is not eaten or mistreated.) A university education is a sacred cow in the Smith family. Fred is regarded as a failure because he quit school at 16. Don't talk about eating meat to Pam. Vegetarianism is one of her sacred cows.
See also: cow, sacred

sacred cow

A person or thing immune to criticism or questioning, as in The rules governing the press conference have become a sacred cow in this administration. This term alludes to the honored status of cows in Hinduism, where they are a symbol of God's generosity to humankind. It has been used figuratively since about 1900.
See also: cow, sacred

a sacred cow

If you describe a belief, opinion, or tradition as a sacred cow, you mean that people are not willing to criticize or question it or to do anything to change it. That would have meant leaving the Exchange Rate Mechanism — and the ERM is the sacred cow of British politics. The trade unions were, perhaps, the greatest sacred cow in British politics during the 1960s and early 1970s. Note: This is often used in a disapproving way. Note: In the Hindu religion, cows are regarded as sacred.
See also: cow, sacred

a sacred cow

an idea, custom, or institution held, especially unreasonably, to be above questioning or criticism.
Sacred cow originally referred to the veneration of the cow as a sacred animal in the Hindu religion.
1991 Here's Health The British diet remains a sacred cow.
See also: cow, sacred

a sacred ˈcow

(disapproving) a person, belief or institution that a group of people greatly respect and never criticize: The National Health Service is a political sacred cow. No one likes to criticize it.In the Hindu religion, cows are respected and never harmed.
See also: cow, sacred

sacred cow

Above criticism. Hindus regard bovines as revered creatures, not to be mistreated in any way. The English-speaking world began to apply this religious practice in the mid-19th century to any person or project (often political in nature) that, like Caesar's wife, should not be faulted.
See also: cow, sacred
References in periodicals archive ?
Left to the elements while awaiting restoration, the Sacred Cow faced serious deterioration, and in 1981, the Smithsonian transferred it to the United States Air Force Museum (now the National Museum of the USAF) for restoration.
Some see the city's sacred cows as city cars for officials and their staffs -- a perk that comes with free gas and car washes.
Sacred Cow was once owned by Swedish model Nena Thurman before being sold on to a Welsh gallery owner in New York in 1991.
When asked about the new edition of the book, co-author Stephen Quesnelle noted that they wanted to include an overview of their PRESTO[c] model of organizational change to further help readers employ the change methodology used by Sacred Cow Company.
The Ethiopian-born singer loves Depeche Mode and The Cure and his debut New Sacred Cow, produced by Pharrell Williams' partner Chad Hugo, is a synth pop corker.
Bartimole says Gateway, in particular, has been a sacred cow to the Plain Dealer.
One result," Birnbaum writes, "is that corporate America, once a perennial sacrificial lamb when it came to government crack-downs, has become something of a sacred cow.
It's not a sacred cow, but we're doing as much as possible to get the original flavor," she said.
A second sacred cow is the apparent boom in Welsh-medium education.
Perhaps now, this longtime sacred cow of city politics will get the scrutiny it deserves in the courts.
Live, Jerry is an awesome spectacle, whether doing magic tricks or berating every sacred cow known to man.
Indeed, he had the audacity to make fun of the sacred cow of the New Deal-- Roosevelt's labor policy, specifically the new power granted to labor unions by the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, popularly known as the Wagner Act.
The BBC is a sacred cow which is immune from democratic input.
To be fair, Pepper has supported senior citizens throughout his career: the first bill he sponsored as a young Florida state legislator exempted the elderly from a fishing license fee, and Pepper championed the fledgling Social Security program in the late 1930s, before it became a sacred cow.