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Basket of cow flaps
Peculiar mentioning in novel
2013/03/23
12:25am
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RobertB
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2012/02/20
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Is ‘basket of cow flaps‘ an idiom? This is a passage from Elizabeth Strout’s book, a story taking place in present day Maine:

Olive can understand why Chris has never bothered having many friends. He is like her that way, can’t stand the blah-blah-blah. And they’d just as soon blah-blah-blah about you when your back is turned. “Never trust folks,” Olive’s mother told her years ago, after someone left a basket of cow flaps by their front door.

Could it be about some local custom ?   because there seems nothing else in the story that might explain it.

2013/03/23
9:00pm
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Dick
Fort Worth, TX
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I have never heard this expression but I am surprised that I did not immediately connect it with “cow flop” which is manure.   I googled “what is a cow flap” and found only one site that said it is the same as “cow flop.”   So I am not sure that they are the same but I think they probably are.

If they are the same, this would not be a custom but a nasty joke.   “Cow flop” would not be an idiom but a euphemism for manure.   Basket would probably be literal.

2013/03/23
10:42pm
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RobertB
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That must be it then. Then it is an odd detail in this story of a middle class town of Maine, nothing else mentioned related to cattle. I hope the author is seeing this.