As schools talk about stopping “bullying,” I’ve been thinking lately how this word is a metaphor for people acting as arbitrarily aggressive as bulls — male cattle — act. Not all bulls are mean — some are quite docile — and so I’m not sure it’s fair to ascribe human aggression to members of the genus Bos. Could we call it “humanying,” as in “Billy, stop taunting Joe. Don’t be a humany.”? Somehow “horsing around” or “monkeying around” don’t have quite the negative connotation, though no one wants to be called a “pig.”
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