The story is simple - girls are trying to pair her friend Isabel with a handsome lord. Isabel is not so happy about that. But what does it mean "have cowslips between their ears"? Suppose, it is some kind of idiom. Does it have any synonyms?

“Your lord shan’t enjoy that.”
Isabel did not pretend to misunderstand. “He is not my lord.”
“Gwen and Lara would have it differently.”
Isabel’s brows snapped together. “Gwen and Lara have cowslips between their ears. I won’t be thrust at him, Jane. You might as well tell them as much.”

Sara MacLean "Ten ways to be adored when landing a lord"

2 Answers 2


Not a common expression, but an adaption of one.

Saying "he has nothing between his ears" means "he has no brains" or "he is stupid". These girls have "nothing but cowslips", and the cowslip is a simple country flower.

I'd understand this as meaning that these are simple country girls. They aren't idiots, but they lack any kind of sophistication. You should probably read this in context of what you know about Gwen, Lara and Isabel from the rest of the book.


It means that they have something other than brains in their heads (they have flowers between their ears).

In effect, she is saying that their idea is stupid.

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