What is “milch?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

“Milch” is thrice used in the Authorized Version:

  • Genesis 32:15: “Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.”
  • 1 Samuel 6:7: “Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them:…”
  • 1 Samuel 6:10: “And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home:….”

Though rare today, “milch” is neither archaic nor obsolete. (Sound it out. It is more familiar than you think!) According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the world’s best-known authority on the English language, “milch” is defined as “denoting a domestic mammal giving or kept for milk.” Both “milch” and “milk” are derived from the Old English “milc, milcian,” from a Germanic term. While “milk” can be either a noun (the liquid itself) or a verb (the act of obtaining milk from the animal), “milch” is an adjective (descriptive of the animal). There is no misspelling.

Also see:
» What are “kine?”
» What is a “sop?”
» What are “cracknels?”