proverbial cow's hind leg'

j   Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:56 pm GMT
'Crooked as a dog's hind leg'

'as crooked as a cow's hind leg.'

'it twisted and curved like the proverbial cow's hind leg'
The meaning of all of them is perfectly clear for me. But what the origin is? According to the word ' proverbial ', there is some proverb or saying where the origin comes from. Does anybody know this proverb?
j   Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:54 am GMT
I asked that a week ago, nobody replied since then. Is there still no answer?
Guest   Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:31 am GMT
I've honestly never heard those expressions before, so I can't tell you what the origins are. But, sometimes the word "proverbial" is inserted into phrases of that nature because they merely resemble, or sound like, proverbs, and aren't actually taken from any specific proverbs. I don't know if these phrases refer to an actual proverb or not, but they sound that way, so the term "proverbial" was added.
Robin   Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:56 am GMT
I have heard the expression: dog's leg

It is usually made in connection with roads or footpaths, to mean a journey that consists of roads going in slightly different directions.

"It's a dog's leg of a route, but the M67 means it's quicker than the shorter route."

An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not compositional—that is, whose meaning does not follow from the meaning of the individual words of which it is composed. For example, the English phrase to kick the bucket means to die.

A dog's leg: is descriptive, but it is describing something other than a dog's leg.

Hence it could be called a metaphor:

A figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness between them. Example: He was drowning in money.

A dog's leg: is a crooked leg of a journey
MM   Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:05 am GMT
Actually, the phrase "crooked as a dog's hind leg" is usually meant to describe someone who is a crook or a cheat. I've never heard it used to describe roads or paths, but I suppose it can be.
j   Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:32 am GMT
Thank you, Guest, Robin , and MM.
As we can see from the quotations above (from the internet), the MM's opinion of the phrase meaning is probably right.
so, there is no original proverb or saying like that... Too bad.