Wyoming, a Guide to Its History, Highways, and People

By Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Wyoming | Go to book overview

Glossary

In the days of the big cattle outfits in Wyoming and Montana, many of the cowboys came from Texas, over the famous Texas Trail, with the stock that formed the foundation of most of the Montana and Wyoming herds. It was natural that the language of the cowboys of Texas and the Southwest generally should become that of the cattlemen of the Northwest. It was a distinctive vernacular, at once picturesque and pungent.

This cowboy lingo is characterized by a simplicity, strength, and directness. Living in isolated groups, visiting rarely, shy and timid as the result of long days of solitude, the cowboys developed their own manner of speech. Cowboy words, phrases, and customs ultimately became community property, and many residents of Wyoming today use cowboy diction quite naturally.

Arbuckle Adjective applied to a cowboy, implying that
the boss must have got him by mail order with
Arbuckle premium stamps,
Bad one A mean horse.
Barefooted Unshod (horse).
Bars Gate made by posts with holes into which or
through which rails (bars) are slid.
Bed down To lie down for the night on the bed ground.
Bed ground The place where livestock such as sheep or
cattle are held for a halt on the trail or on the
range.
Bed roll The blankets and bedding owned by each cow-
puncher; they are usually rolled up with a tar-
paulin around them.
Beefing Complaining.
Bend To turn a stampede or a general movement of
animals.
Bicycling Holding one foot down or under surcingle,
while 'scratching' with the spur on the other
foot, and then alternating.
Big boss The owner of a cattle outfit. His first lieuten-
ant is called the 'right-hand man,' sometimes
'the top screw.'
Biscuit shooter The cook.
Biting the dust Being thrown from a horse.

-459-

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Wyoming, a Guide to Its History, Highways, and People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • Preface xix
  • Illustrations xxi
  • Maps xxv
  • General Information xxxi
  • Calendar of Annual Events xxxvii
  • PART I - Wyoming: Past and Present 1
  • Contemporary Scene 3
  • Natural Setting 11
  • Archeology and Indians 49
  • History 58
  • Transportation 79
  • Industry, Commerce and Labor 90
  • Agriculture 98
  • Education 109
  • Sports and Recreation 117
  • Folklore and Folkways 122
  • Literature 127
  • The Theater 137
  • Music 147
  • Art 155
  • Architecture 161
  • Part II - Cities 171
  • Casper 173
  • Cheyenne 183
  • Laramie 195
  • Sheridan 206
  • PART III - Tours 215
  • Tour 1 217
  • Tour 2a 251
  • Tour 2c 253
  • Tour 3 267
  • Tour 4a 292
  • Tour 4b 300
  • Tour 6 318
  • Tour 6a 339
  • Tour 7a 341
  • Tour 8 350
  • Tour 9 356
  • Tour 10 367
  • Tour 11 380
  • Yellowstone National Park 392
  • PART IV - Appendices 439
  • Chronology 441
  • Bibliography 449
  • Glossary 459
  • 1940 - Census Figures 467
  • Index 469
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