First an apology for being late. My elderly dog was sick all night, and we went off to the Vet first thing this morning. She’s okay now, but when I returned, my AOL would not cooperate.
All is well now, though, so here we go this Monday.
And then there’s this: “Jackass mail,” a stagecoach pulled by mules over rough terrain.
Ever hear the initials G.T.T.? It’s a historical term common in the 19th century, standing for “Gone to Texas,” apparently derived from G.T.T. signs that emigrants hung on the doors of their homes and businesses when they went West. It is also a designation for any disreputable man. According to this fine western dictionary, “Now finally the settlers over there began to organize for mutual protection. . . against the more overbearing ranch hands who were often Texas badmen, mostly GTT’s, meaning ‘Gone To Texas,’ men who had fled there from the law or other vengeance.”
A ‘trail waddy?” Hey, he’s nothing but a cowboy. It came to represent any honest cowhand, though waddy originally meant a cattle rustler.
But probably my favorite new found fact is the origin of Kangaroo Court. According to one story, the expression might have originated in Australia, although it was first recorded in the United States during the California gold rush. According to the story, the source for the term are kangaroos in Australia’s back country who when out of spear range sat staring dumbly at men for long periods of time before leaping off for the horizon. Their staring was thought to be similar to the dumb stares of jurors sitting on a mock jury, and their leaping away suggested the quick decisions of such an extralegal court.
There apparently are no quotations supporting the use of kangaroo court in Australia court in Australia at any time. One guess is that it was coined by an Australian emigrant. Another theory is that Americans familiar with the kangaroo’s jumping habits invented kangaroo court as a humorous term for courts that tried claim jumpers. Mustang courts means the same.
Just a few fun trivia facts for a rainy day.