Thursday, July 10, 2008

13 Thursday Old West Terms

I hope someday to write an Old West novel of some kind. These are some terms that could be useful.

1.Arbuckle's ~ slang for coffee, taken from a popular brand of the time. "I need a cup of Arbuckle's."

2.Between hay and grass ~ neither man nor boy, half-grown.

3.Big bug ~ important person, official, boss. "He's one of the railroad big bugs."

4.California widow ~ woman separated from her husband, but not divorced. (From when pioneer men went West, leaving their wives to follow later.)

5.Crowbait ~ derogatory term for a poor-quality horse.

6.Difficulty ~ euphemism for trouble, often the shootin' or otherwise violent kind. "He had to leave Texas on account of a difficulty with a gambler in San Antonio."

7.Dreadful ~ very. "Oh, her dress is dreadfully pretty."

8.Fetch ~ bring, give. "Fetch me that hammer." / "He fetched him a punch in the nose."

9.Flannel mouth ~ an overly smooth or fancy talker, especially politicians or salesmen. "I swear that man is a flannel-mouthed liar."

10.Get a wiggle on ~ hurry.

11.Gospel mill ~ a church.

12.Hobble your lip ~ shut up.

13.See the elephant ~ originally meant to see combat for the first time, later came to mean going to town, where all the action was.

8 comments:

Momstheword said...

Those are terrific. I love words and expressions but hadn't heard most of those.

Julie said...

I think you made up some of those up..you might be stretching the truth a little or pulling the wool over our eyes. Folks don't cotton to that in these parts of the woods.

Julie said...

Im-a calling you out. But all in all a very fun post.

QOTW said...

Moms, these are interesting phrases. I like them too.

Julie, I reckon I'll meet ya at high noon. And oh, don't forget to bring a picnic basket.

Kay Day said...

well, I swan.

My piano teacher, (not you, a different one) said that. She wasn't very old west, though. She also said, Pshaw.

I like the list. I'm with Julie though. I think you might be a hornswaggler. Is that old west or old south?

Julie said...

Q, you always give a good yarn, tell a yarn? spin a yarn maybe?

Robin said...

Cute - the post and the comments :)

Momstheword said...

How about diddley dadburn. Ediccated fool, my dad liked to use to refer to those with larnin' but little hoss sense.