Monday, June 20, 2011

What do they call a cowlick where you come from?

" A cowlick is a section of hair that stands straight up or lies at an angle at odds with the style in which the rest of an individual's hair is worn. Cowlicks appear when the growth direction of the hair forms a spiral pattern. The term "cowlick" originates from the domestic bovine's habit of licking its young, which results in a swirling pattern in the hair. The most common site of a human cowlick is in the crown, but they can show up anywhere. They also sometimes appear in the front and back of the head.

The term cowlick dates from the late 16th century, when Richard Haydocke used it in his translation of Lomazzo: "The lockes or plaine feakes of haire called cow-lickes, are made turning upwards."  -
Way back in the day when we were small bare foot kids in a valley where yards opened up to yards, and only one neighbor lived behind a wire fence and a gate, cowlicks were called 'giddy-giddy.'  One of the neighborhood kids must have had giddy-giddy, he was trouble ... watch out  for him.  I think I did but there was always something plain and simple about that warning and the giddy-giddy:  you knew it was there, so knew what to expect. 

I've been calling up memories from those small kid times recently, finding myself at my old Elementary School, at recess playing hop-scotch.  The innocence and playfulness of those times has soothed me as I reached for a good-feeling thought.  Even now, I see the cement sidewalk, the ramp leading up to the classrooms, the right angle where we could go to the library.  The white lines of the hop-scotch blocks already smudged indelibly with the red dirt that does not wash out. 

Memory, a good feeling thought is a powerful agent sometimes a gentle clearing to make the simple act of choosing as a girl:  'play hop-scotch' or 'go to the library' at recess.  Rewinding memories and choosing to remember that girl playing is a more sophisticated choice at sixty-three and I do it to put together in word-play, word-work and storytelling.  That eight year old girl from valley was playing hop-scotch with a whorl of hair she had not met, yet.  The times of play and innocence at school masked the white-water rafting that worked my world within.  There were signs of the rough waters during those hop-scotch days, but most teachers and on-lookers could never see the double giddy-giddy that swhirled on the back of my head.

I woke this morning, still a bit rummy from sleep and an over-load of the giddy-giddy effect.  Preparing to write, I often read what Elsa P.'s dishing up for the day and found a load of conversation and discourse about the morphing effect of water (Neptune) on the way a person comes across in the every day.  Among the servings of astrology and pyschology I found this article-post about cowlicks, and took that article with me, back to the red-dirt stained hop-scotch blocks and giddy-giddies.

Elsa is discussing a situation between a couple.  The double-messaging of communication, and the issue of purposeful manipulation:  say this, but do exactly the opposite.  And,  it's a wonderful parable of the cowlick.  She ends the article with this, but read the whole and see what answer you come up with.

“I think it’s subconscious,” I said. “You know how a person combs their hair one way and it repeatedly falls back the way it falls naturally? Like a cowlick. This man has a cowlick in his psychology and we’ve discovered it. It’s not malicious, it just is. He’s going to say one things and then say the other, very reliably. It’s not because he has this intention, it’s because he has this cowlick…”


Do you have a cowlick in your psychology?


  1. jeez and i thought a cowlick was that salty bar that cows' well lick.

    in my neck of the woods we call a giddy giddy a calick (sp?)

  2. Renee,
    Words are funny. Salt lick, cowlick. The salt lick is optional, the cowlick is to be living with.

  3. I was told awhile ago the cowlicks are a sign of love from the gods. India where the cow is revered sacred was the origin of the tale. If born with cowlicks it meant the cows licked and loved your head causing the swirl. My husband disbelieved this myth, hence I look for stories.

  4. Anonymous Commenter,
    I love this story of cowlicks. I can relate to the gift of cowlicks and am pleased to hear you look for stories when faced with disbelievers. A very talented artist and wordsmith created a calligraphy speaking of MAGIC. In essence she wrote that 'magic is found in the most unlikely of places ...and if you don't look with wonder at life, you will never find it(magic)."
    Wonder eyes to you, Anonymous Commenter and thanks for this it makes me smile as broad as bowls!


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