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.
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.|
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.|
The place where livestock such as sheep or|
cattle are held for a halt on the trail or on the
The blankets and bedding owned by each cow-|
puncher; they are usually rolled up with a tar-
paulin around them.
To turn a stampede or a general movement of|
Holding one foot down or under surcingle,|
while 'scratching' with the spur on the other
foot, and then alternating.
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.|