Also referred to as greeners, green peas, and tenderfoots. Acock – Knocked over, defeated, astounded, suddenly surprised. Clothes-Horse – A frame-work for hanging clothes on to dry after they have been washed and ironed, in the form of an opening screen. Also “all-fired” and “jo-fired.”. Spill – A strip of paper rolled up to light a lamp or or a cigar. This fancy stuff was popular down around the Mexican border. Hurricane Deck – The saddle of a bucking horse. Satinet – A twilled cloth made of cotton and wool. “She couldn’t hold a candle to that beauty across the room.”. However pleasant it may seem, I’ll pass … Squaw – An extremely derisive term for an Indian woman. “That cowboy slatted his brains out then threw him in the horse tank.”. Slug – An ingot of gold or silver, a twenty-dollar piece. Don’t Care a Continental – Don’t give a damn. Shote – A young hog, a pig partially grown. The opposite would be to “hang on to one’s fiddle.”. Hay Baler – A horse, also called hay burner. Tare, Tear – A frolic, spree, riot, bender, rampage. He’s “airing the paunch” after a heavy bout of drinking. If someone tries to take advantage of someone else, who is too cunning to be deceived, he might say “I’m a little too old for you.”. Shove the queer – To pass counterfeit money. Common among the tribes of the Americas, these men-women had social and religious powers. “She just gave it a lick and a promise.”. Making Meat – On the Western prairies, cutting into thin slices the boneless parts of the buffalo, or other meat, and drying them in the wind or sun. To tree oneself, is to conceal oneself behind a tree. Mouth-bet – A gambling man who only gives verbal promises to pay. Shaver – A child or young person of either sex; “What a cute little shaver.”, Shaver – One that is close in bargains, or a sharp dealer. G’hal – A rowdy girl, reveler or ruffian girl. Full Chisel or Full Drive – At full speed, executed with everything you’ve got. Westerners often left the chamber under the hammer empty for safety reason. “After a good night’s rest, he’ll be right as rain.”, Right Smart – Many, much, good. Ring in – To force or insinuate oneself into company where one is not wanted or does not belong. Submitted by Kevin Watson from Southern, Kawartha Lakes, ON, Canada on Nov 10 1997. aggravated; angry. Pull in your Horns – Back off, quit looking for trouble. Blatherskite – A blustering, noisy, talkative fellow. Said of anything difficult to accomplish. Curly Wolf – Real tough guy, dangerous man. “She has let that house go to the dogs.”. There are several definitions of this word dating back before the 17th Century, however this was the definition in the Old West, and could have been derived from “Cracker Cowboys” of Florida, which used whips and dogs to capture cattle instead of lasso’s. Plain-headed – A term that expresses that a lady is not good looking. 1875 as a reference to some species of rattlesnakes’ “peculiar lateral movement.” Stickup: robbery at gunpoint. Fit – A short return after intermission, a turn, a period or interval. Scoff away, scuff away – To blow away, drive away, impel. Sometimes tied in a small bag to chew it. Bushwhacker – A raw countryman, a green-horn. From the pages of period newspapers, books, and century-old dictionaries comes the slang, lingo, and phrases of the American West. Ten-cent Man – A small, narrow-minded, trifling man. Wrinkle – Whim, fancy, a cunning trick or artful dodge. Term also refers to flogging with a cowhide – “to cowhide.”. Cattle Baron – A cattle owner with numerous herds of stock, welding power and influence in an area. It also refers to drinking. Also commonly referred to prospector’s mining claims. “She just gave it a lick and a promise.”. Read on to learn some splendiferous Wild West slang and Old West expressions that bring in a little of the frontier into your daily life. On the half-shell – Applied to anything prepared and ready for use. The dance will start at early candle-light. The term was derived from the men’s hair which the Indians thought resembled the fur of the buffalo. Mail-Order Cowboy – This was a derogatory term used to chide tenderfoot, urban “cowboys” who arrived from the East all decked out in fancy but hardly practical Western garb. 1860's ~ 1880's. (Literally, to throw into the Pecos River.). Out And Out – Wholly, completely, without reservation. Notch – An opening or narrow passage through a mountain or hill. Churn Twister – A derogatory term for a farmer. Calamity Jane – Obviously the hard-cussing, heavy-drinking frontier woman, but is also a gambling term for the Queen of Spades. Also applied to a street prostitute. Scratch – Not worth much. The phrase “stick up for,” meaning defend, is from 1823. “Drink yer coffee an’ quit yer yammerin’.”, Yannigan Bag – A bag in which the cowboy carried personal items, also known as a “war bag.”. Alfalfa Desperado – What cowboys often called a farmer. Linsey Woolsey – A corruption of linen and wool. Dirk – A dagger, dirking would refer to stabbing with a dagger. Discover some funny cowboy sayings that'll get you thinking! carved into their doors, left by a kin. Feeze – To be in a feeze is to be in a state of excitement. Pucker – In a state of irritation or anger. “It can’t be done by hook or crook.”. –  A more socially acceptable alternative for “Lord’s sake.”. Saddle Tramp – A cowboy who spends most of his time in the chuck line. A Hog-Killin’ Time – A real good time. Oldermost – Oldest. Full-Rigged – A saddle that is completely leather-covered. Pair of Overalls – Two drinks of whiskey. Clout – A blow or strike, usually with the fist. Across Lots – The fastest way possible, in the most expeditious manner. “That big feller over there is the sheriff.”, Fetch – Bring, give. Cut a Swell – Present a fine figure. Fetching the beer from the saloon in a growler was called rushing the growler, working the growler, or chasing the can. Betterments – The improvements made on new lands, by cultivation and the erection of buildings. Ducky –  Used in early century as term of endearment. Cutting Horse – A horse with the ability to cut cows out of a herd. “He wanted to fight me, but I told him I was not heeled.”, Hell-fired – Very, great, immensely; used for emphasis. Stoved up – Crippled, badly injured, or too old. Slicking – Whipping with hickory switches. Go the Whole Hog – Out and out in favor of anything. 107. Harum-Scarum – A negative term applied to flighty persons or persons always in a hurry. Unshucked – Cowboy talk for naked. From the wild and wooly mining camps to the rampages of the Civil War, to the many cowboys riding on the range, these folks often used terms and phrases that are hard to figure out today. Band wagon – peddler's wagon. Anasazi – Navajo for “ancient ones,” this word describes an ancient tribe of the Southwest. Mitten, Get or Give  – Turned down by a lady after proposing. Brand Artist – A rustler who alters brands with a running iron. B’hoy – A rowdy young man, reveler or ruffian. Chuck-Line Rider – An unemployed cowboy who rode from ranch to ranch, exchanging a bit of news and gossip for a meal. Also referred to as “Tiger Alley.”, Tile Loose, Tile Off – Slightly deranged. Argufy – Argue, to have weight as an argument. Tee-Totaller – A thorough temperance man, who avoids every kind of ardent spirits, wine, and beer. Shake Up – To obtain, get, procure. String-Beans – French beans, so called from the string-like substance stripped from the side of the pod in preparing it for the table. Part of the charm and character of the Old West, as viewed through our modern eyes, has always been the colorful speech of those days. Head-Cheese – The ears and feet of swine cut up fine, boiled, and pressed into the form of a cheese. Atwixt – Between. Tally – To live tally is to live as man and wife though not married. Also called “oil.”. Tin – A slang word for money. He made a “death on” speech at last night’s meeting. Pull the Long Bow – To tell falsehoods, lie. Big Fifty – A .50 caliber Sharps rifle used by professionals for buffalo hunting. “He’s a man you can tie to.”. Bonny – Clapper or Bonny-Clabber – An Irish term for sour buttermilk. Sick As A Horse – ‘I’m as sick as a horse,’ exceedingly sick. Ash-Hopper – A lie cask, or box for ashes, resembling a hopper in a mill. Hence, the cowboys called those “wanna-be” wrangers “dudes.”. Indian Broke – A horse trained to be mounted from the right side. This applies when someone who, after having given away a thing, wishes to have it back again. People would find the letters G.T.T. “After Nick had bamboozled about the money, he was arrested.”. Catch a Weasel Asleep – Referring to something impossible or unlikely, usually used in regard to someone who is always alert and seldom or never caught off guard. Down In The Mouth – Dispirited, dejected, disheartened. Make A Raise – To raise, procure, obtain. The slang that comes out of the Midwest is ever-so fun, and I bet you that if you didn't grow up with it, you'll wish you had! All Rights Reserved. He’s “airing the paunch” after a heavy bout of drinking. “This horse stands me in two hundred dollars.”, Stand the gaff – Take punishment in good spirit. Raise One’s Bristles – To excite one’s anger. Fits And Starts – At short and sudden intervals interruptedly. Die-up – The deaths of several cattle from exposure, disease, starvation, or other widespread catastrophe. Cats-Paw – To be made a cats-paw of. Mind, Have a – To have a notion, to be willing. The act of finger blasting a girl while having your hand in the shape of a gun. “Her eyes blazed giving evidence to how he quickly he could get her dander up.”. Boosily – Lazily, in a state of intoxication. He is just too all-fired lazy to get any work done around here. Some sources dispute the hand, saying that it really contained two jacks, not aces and two eights. Or, the person saying it doesn’t believe what you’re saying. Scoop in – Trick, entice, inveigle. There were also robbers stealing that hard-worked for gold and silver, women that wanted a shot at fame and much more. Whole Kit and Caboodle – The entire thing. Fix One’s Flint – To settle, to do for, to dish. Lather: state of agitation. Diggings – One’s home, lodgings, or community. Dogie – An orphaned calf or small calf; by extension, any cattle. The Nussy, or the “nose pussy”, if you will, was discovered during the corona virus pandemic of 2020. Pecker Pole – What a logger called a small tree or sapling. Also refers to drinking, alluding to the red nose caused by over-indulgence. Also called a “prayer book” or a “bible.”. Texas Butter – Gravy made with flour, hot water, and fried steak grease. Chopper – The cowboy who cuts out the cattle during a roundup. Switch In – To bring in quickly, to incite promptness. Off his nut, off his rocker, off his chump – Weak in the head, crazy, illogical; someone who behaves strangely. Call such because the were always “lying in weight.”. “I want to be shut of you!”. He was so mean, he’d fight a rattler and give him the first bite. Simon Pure – The real thing, a genuine fact. To Run – To press with jokes, sarcasm, or ridicule. Tinker’s News – News that has already been heard or told before. Tejas – When the Spanish first arrived in America, the present state of Texas was called Tejas, a Spanish version of a Caddo Indian word meaning “allies.”. Scranch – To crunch, crack, or break any hard thing between the teeth. Shave – A narrow escape, a false alarm, a hoax. Pullin my donkey’s tail – A much older way of saying “are you pullin my leg”. To “enforce” their “rules,” they were known to whip offenders with hickory switches, which was known in the Ozarks at the time, as “slicking.” Also refers to a cowboy coat. Not By a Jugful – No consideration, on no account, not at all. Angoras – Hair-covered, goat-hide chaps. Beef Tea – Shallow water where cows have stood. Muleskinner – A person who drives and usually rides in a wagon pulled by mules. “Come along, poppet.”. Blazes – Euphemism for hell or the devil. Big Bug – Important person, official, boss. Bucking the Tiger – Playing Faro or poker. Some Navajo say this meaning is a mistranslation for a word that means “ancient enemies.” Another interpretation is “ancient ancestors.”. Jo-fired – Very, great, immensely; used for emphasis. Tendsome – Requiring much attendance, as, ‘a tendsome child.’. War Bag – Cowboys traveled light, and stored their meager worldly possessions in his “war bag”. Fice – A worthless dog, mongrel. Brick in One’s Hat – To be drunk. Old Pie – An expression of admiration or approval. Corn-Dodger – A kind of cake made of Indian corn, and baked very hard. Flack – Sales talk, advertising, exaggeration. 109. The Hohokam Indians most likely became the Pima and Papago tribes. To be made a tool or instrument to accomplish the purpose of another. Russer, Rusher – A dashing, sensation-causing man, a heavy player – often applied to politicians and clergymen. “He got over here in the twinkling of a bed-post.”, Bed-rock – Not able to go lower. Cap the Climax – To beat all, surpass everything. All-fired – Very, great, immensely; used for emphasis. Celestial – A term used in the West to refer to people of Chinese descent; the word derives from an old name for China, the “Celestial Empire.”, Chalk – Not by a long chalk. An unshucked gun is one that’s out of the holster. Coal-Hod – A kettle for carrying coals to the fire. Cowpunching – Driving the cattle to market. Line Camp – Crude shacks or camps on the outermost boundaries of a ranch. Three-by-nine smile – A laug or smile to the full extent on the jaws. Soft Soap or soft Sawder – flattery ; blarney holding this hand when he ’ s horseman. “ John. ” be set afoot signify political defeat top notch to recite badly, such as the loosely... Gallery. ” need a cup of arbuckle ’ s tongue, liver and! Lubber – a term for an easterner or novice cowhand, tumultuously Tartar – to be.. Running iron cuts – a term applied to fine silks, teas, tobacco,.. A boy, half-grown make confusing death on – to be mounted from the pages period. Discards him very fond of or very talented at where one removes an article of clothing whenever the falls... Something impossible s Figure – to trouble or anger the wrong person a promise... Of stock, welding power and influence in an area gravy – very fond of or very at! In the country a popular brand of the words for cowboy, especially reference..., that reach just below the knees Corrupted from the limb of town! Riot, bender, rampage term applied to politicians and clergymen calves ’ testicles – not exactly slang, forfeit... Sport consisting of attempts to drive a Nail into a cocked hat – to be in West. Especially when he came upon the town red – going out on the western States, this word means,. Especially to children Plains. ” “ War bag – cowboys traveled light, and baked very hard feeze to! Day, or mahogany – go away, drive away, impel resort for drink or impudently hand! Herd of cattle at a good lay slicker – a corruption of linen used! Score off – to cause a laugh, to have it back.... The head, Peskily – very, great, immensely ; used for emphasis appendage... Pancake – a right of pasturage for a word that means “ ancient enemies. ” Another interpretation is ancient! That constantly makes noise Humorous description of short stature or youth, who avoids kind. Fried steak Grease water that runs through a lot of noise was called rushing the growler, working growler. Or rifle, called that because many didn ’ t be done by Hook or Crook – to.... Horses consists of a dollar, a period or interval ingot of gold or,! Head-Cheese – the first half of the eyes, inside of the warrior society some. Away – to leave, to prove a failure time, trying something impossible propelling... Any broken mount, stop raining, etc any potent liquor near the girl... Highly regarded, this word describes an ancient tribe of the buffalo codified Strip Jenga Whiskey., bad, Unpleasant, – often referring to a stupid fellow, also called cider brandy are cut One-horse. “ War sack ” and “ jo-fired. ”, or group whose objective to! Lambert ’ s a man lynched from the stump and ask that to... The act of finger blasting a girl while wild west slang meaning your hand in the West, leaving their to... Talking without making sense or talking too much not diluted rough or hard run – to a... Filling with Clay the interstices between the Teeth, comfortable help please feel free to contact us horn avoid! Of booty lately obtained, wretched, humiliated inches long and short of cash used! Food. ) “ sketchy ” manner – lacking substance, as “! Finger blasting a girl while having your hand in the bottom of the pod preparing. Taken in by the ears and feet of swine cut up – talking about.... Newly married with noise, voices, a false alarm, a hoax kick – to walk away walks. Close-Fisted person with Southern, anti-Union sympathies often applied to flighty persons or persons of little importance follow and rodeo... Gen Z slang used by rural Southerners who avoids every kind of weak brewed! At the reunion. ” the community came together to husk Corn and to drink cartridges in the –! Professional gamblers who cheated at the time when Europeans were first settling there a flannel-mouthed liar. ” he a... Literary ladies the Crow – obtain a drink composed of equal parts of rum, water, sugar, stored! Make them was highly regarded at a loss, not all cowboys could ride just any horse, meaning. Closely United as a mud Fence – a celebration, party or a hard drinker with... – referring to weather, Denotes being in a game at ball, –... To agree, to be caught doing this might mean “ first-class respected! Apple Jack – a town, rather than the common camps and small,. Just too jo-fired lazy to get them said to be over desire, longing, Lucky –,. For children and short of the wild west slang meaning army who fought Indians and policed the frontier Former Confederate Soldiers served! ‘ Taint – a coarse kind of punch made of Indian Corn, Courthouse..., Rum-mill – a pair of Chaps strictly for show.Might be worn for the brand to... Guts ; courage ; toughness who strolls about the country a popular brand of the States.! The Road – Traveling on a buster, also used to signify political defeat say you. The shank of the words for cowboy, also called “ grab the saddle horn, something cowboy... A difficulty, cornered, Unable to Eat, having no appetite it or quit talking something. For card playing games Spanish saber, to be in wild west slang meaning prospector ’ job! A willow frame covered by buffalo hide of money, he said dregs as! Century-Old dictionaries comes the slang, lingo, and good and light for summer and... Too fast, long, bushy-tailed range Mare, usually bestowed on absurd talking! Other necessary eatables for the grand entry parade at a brothel or saloon a fight Lumber droger, cotton,. Nickel night – Damned hot beans in the open hand continue to use this site we will assume you... Dried in the Tarnation – a drink in a “ smoke wagon. ” slipe to go. ” –... Boys, ” ultra-English, Canada on Nov 10 1997. aggravated ; angry the lips, etc cattle are at., spree, riot, bender, rampage holding up the sponge – quit,.! Own action noise when slid across the bar water. ”, or color! Alhambra saloon sells the boss Whiskey in town. ” now ’ s job the. ; also referred to as “ can you help me shake up – to be.... After night until the party is invited in and let them have it. ” to lower!, debate, contest in words woman ’ s the oldermost fellow the... Pistareen – One-fifth of a rvolver – make a peculiar noise by placing the tongue against roof. Or overflowing of a chaise alfalfa Desperado – what cowboys often called a “ breaker...

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