How now brown cow

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For the Cornbugs album, see How Now Brown Cow (album).

"How now brown cow" (/ˈh ˈn ˈbrn ˈk/) is a phrase used in elocution teaching to demonstrate rounded vowel sounds. Each "ow" sound in the phrase represents the diphthong /aʊ/. Although not in use today, the phrase "how now" is a greeting, short for "how say you now", and can be found in archaic literature, such as the plays of William Shakespeare.

The use of the phrase "how now brown cow" in teaching elocution can be dated back to at least 1926.[1]


  1. ^ Bagley, Louie: "Elocution do's and dont's", Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1926