Cow’us/Cowuss

myd51968-img_1322Cow’us  or Cowuss  (n).  pl  Cow’uses.   Term used in Swaledale and other parts of the Dales for a field barn or ‘cow-house’.

It is essential to understand that while the term ‘barn’ is casually [commonly] used to describe any farm building where hay and perhaps livestock are kept, a specialist (whether the farmer or researcher ) will differentiate between a range of different buildings in farming use.  As well as ‘cowuss’, you may encounter ‘hogg houses’ and sheep houses’ (n.b. hoggs are young sheep – not pigs!).

You might find (in Swaledale at least) that using the word ‘barn’ will get you a blank look if you’re talking about a cow’us..

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