Entries linking to cowhide
"female of a bovine animal," especially the domestic ox, Middle English cu, qu, kowh, from Old English cu "cow," from Proto-Germanic *kwon (source also of Old Frisian ku, Middle Dutch coe, Dutch koe, Old High German kuo, German Kuh, Old Norse kyr, Danish, Swedish ko), earlier *kwom, from PIE root *gwou- "ox, bull, cow."
Applied to the females of various large animals from late 14c. As an insulting or degrading word for a woman, 1690s.
Related prehistorically to Old English verb hydan "to hide" (see hide (v.1)), the common notion being of "covering." The alliterative pairing of hide and hair (often negative, hide nor hair) was in Middle English (early 15c.), but earlier and more common was hide ne hewe, literally "skin and complexion ('hue')" (c. 1200).