Idiom 'Cash Cow' - Idioms with Meanings

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In this lesson you will learn about the idiom ‘cash cow’ and how to use it in your conversations.


Jim: Sally, do you know what the idiom ‘cash cow’ means?

Sally: Yes Jim, a cash cow is a source of easy and continuous profit.

Jim: Correct. A ‘cash cow’ may be a product, a business or an organization which needs a very small amount of maintenance cost to run, compared to the huge profit or income it generates.

Sally: For example, Windows is the cash cow that made Microsoft a huge company.

Jim: You are right, Sally. Microsoft is making a huge amount of money from the Windows product; it’s their cash cow. A cash cow may be anything which is a dependable source of income with its large and steady cash flow.

Sally: Here’s another example: Mr. Smith’s barren piece of land became his cash cow after oil was discovered there.

Jim: Thank you Sally. Let’s listen to some conversations now.

The Company’s New Product

Mark: Suzanne told me that the new product would become a cash cow.

Ruth: Sure, it’s already taking off in the market.

Mark: Mr. Brown’s ideas are brilliant! He should have been made the CEO years ago.

Ruth: Right! His new idea is the company’s new cash cow.

What about the Ecosystem?

Ruth: The government approved mining in Sparrow Island.

Mark: That’s a good decision for some people. It’ll prove to be a cash cow soon for the people who own the land.

Ruth: I doubt that! There’s a strong protest against it going on.

Mark: Yeah, they fear that the mining will destroy the ecosystem.

The Olympics.

Ruth: The next Olympics will cost a lot of money to organize.

Mark: Yeah, but it will be a cash cow for the city that hosts them.

Ruth: I’m not so sure. I’ve heard they cost more to host than they bring in.

Mark: Well, at least it will be a cash cow for the merchants in that area.

Ruth: Yeah! For them it’ll be a real boon!

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