Cowboy Dictionary

These are the old west cowboy terms you’ll find in Longhorns and Outlaws.

Above snakes — Above ground; alive

Afeared — Afraid

Among the Willows — Dodging the Law

Bed ground — Where cattle are held at night

Beeves — Cattle

Best bib and tucker — Best clothes

Between hay and grass — Half grown; not a boy anymore but not yet a man

Big pasture — Jail or penetentiary

Burn the breeze — Ride at full speed

Buzzard bait — A worn-out horse or nag

Choking the horn — Holding on to the pommel or saddle horn (something no cowboy wants to be seen doing)

Chow — Food; dinner

Churn twister — Farmer (an insult referring to using a churn to make butter)

Conchas — Ornamentation that resembles shells

Corral dust — Lies or tall tales

Cow chip — Dried cow manure

Cuttin’ more dirt — Going faster

Diggings — Home, either lodgings or community

Draw cuts — Also called to draw straws or decide something by blindly drawing stalks of grass cut to different lengths)

Drover — Cowboy driving cattle

Dry gulched — Ambushed (surprised by someone hiding in a dry creek bed or gully)

Dusted — Thrown from what you’re riding

Flapping your gums — Talking

Goose flesh — Goosebumps

Got wind of — Heard about

Grub pile — Meal or the contents of the chuck wagon

Flea-trap — Cowboy’s bedroll

Hang your hat — Make yourself at home

Hard pushed for cash — Short of money

Hear tell — Hear a report of

Jawing — Talking

Like lickin’ butter off a knife — Something is easy, not hard

Lynching bee — An event around the hanging (of a person)

Night hawk — Cowboy taking night watch with the herd

No ways bridlewise — Not controllable

One-horse — Small or inferior

Painting the town red — Having a good time

Peck of trouble — Lot of trouble

Pilgrim — Someone from the city, thus unfamiliar with frontier ways

Pull in their horns — Back off and quit looking for trouble

Puncher — Cowboy taking care of cattle

Remuda — Herd of spare horses

Scooped in — Tricked

Shank of the evening — Late afternoon

Slipe — Considerable distance

Sowbelly — Side pork or bacon

String party — Term for a hanging or lynching

Toad strangler — Heavy rain storm

Trampous — Wander

Wake snakes — Raise a ruckus

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