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All About Cowlicks

April 21, 2009

cow_lick_by_meggllesMost people are born with a cowlick or two. However, the longer or curlier your hair is the easier it is to hide it. A cowlick occurs when each hair on our head leaves its follicle at an angle. These hairs form a spiral or swirl pattern, usually in a clockwise direction.

Where did the word “Cowlick” come from? A Brief History of the Expression:

The exact origin of the expression cowlick is buried in the linguistic past. However, there may be a hint in Norse mythology. Before the beginning of the world, the divine primeval cow Audumbla licked the cosmic salty ice blocks, and as she licked, a man’s hair appeared; when she continued to lick, the man’s head and finally the rest of his body were revealed. Thus the cow gave form to Buri, the ancestor of the gods. Notice that the first body part that the cow licked was the hair. This myth was recorded in the early 1200s (by Snorri Sturluson), but, of course, the story itself probably goes back much further in time, and it may have influenced, or reflected, the common linguistic imagery of other Europeans.

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