Some of these definitely fooled me!
I love words and phrases. I love learning their origin, which helps me understand the word and how it came to be. Here’s a few that might have you stumped too. See how many you actually know…
Sea lions – a name given to early day wild long-horned cattle “that came right out of the Gulf of Mexico” and so called because they could swim like ducks. (so why not call them sea ducks?)
Prairie butter – a cowman’s name for the grease left in the pan of fried meat or bacon that he sometimes poured over his bread.
Prayer book – what the cowboy calls his book of cigarette papers.
Credit – a notch carved upon a gun to commemorate the killing of a victim. Outlaws and gunmen of the wild bunch who killed for the sake of bragging rights followed this custom, but no man of principle wanted to remember the men he had killed.
Rosebud – a roper’s term for a knot tied in the dally end of the rope.
Talk turkey – a westerner’s expression to talk seriously, mean business (Hey, I knew this one!)
Stogies– a cowboy’s term for cheap hand-me-down boots.
Nickel-plated – a cowboy’s term for the best in anything, from the nickel-plated decorations on his clothing and riding gear, to a well-dressed woman.
Front-door puncher– a cowboy who spends too much of his time in town.
Man at the pot! – a shout heard in a cowboy camp at mealtime. If a man gets up to refill his coffee cup and hears the yell, he is duty-bound by camp etiquette to go around with the pot and fill all the cups held out to him.
Okay, now it’s your turn. Just for fun see if you can answer these questions.
1. What was the occupation of a “silk-popper?”
2. What kind of vegetable was called “music roots?”
3. What event occurs at a “Texas cakewalk?”
4. What is a “hot rock?”
5. What is a “cowboy cocktail?”
What western words or phrases surprised you most? Do you use any western phrases in your everyday life? And what phrases are you tired of hearing in westerns?
Look for the hunky cowboy picture in another post and you’ll see the answers later on today!
Oh and if you like Christmas stories, Do Not Disturb Until Christmas might be just for you! My hero’s not a cowboy, but he’s every bit an rugged alpha male and my heroine is a famous country western singer! Click to purchase.
RT Top Pick and Border’s #4 Bestseller in romance this week!