Mammary Grammar

While watching this typically hilarious clip of Lewis Black (pointed at by Ezra, under the tag “Moo Cow Fuck Milk“)

I had a revelatory question.

Why is the stuff that human babies get from their mothers called “Breast Milk”?  As if there’s some other kind of milk?  As if, if you were having trouble breastfeeding, you could call in a lactation consultant who specializes in maximizing the flow of, I dunno, elbow milk?

We have “milk”, which comes from cows, and is sometimes called “cow’s milk”.  I’ve heard of goat’s milk, yak butter, which is presumably made from yak’s milk, and of course the everpresent soy milk, which Black correctly notes should really be called “soy juice”, since soy ain’t got no titties.  But, at least in the case of the first three, I’m pretty sure that all of these milks come from breasts, or teats, or whatever terminology you prefer.  So why is human milk granted the special, and decidedly uninformative name “breastmilk”?


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