Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cowboys; what are they talking about?

Have you ever listen to a "real" cowman..not an Urban Cowboy (BTW, they don’t like being called cowBOYS)talk? If you're from the city -it’s like visiting another planet. Let me give you an example:

A Real Cowman would say: "That greener borracho was airin’ the paunch last night. Too many brave makers at the Hoe dig. Probably why he’s airin the lungs this morning. That whistle's in need of some belly wash."

Have you figured it out yet?

It means: "That drunkard new guy from Mexico was vomiting last night. Too many whiskeys at the dance. Probably why he’s cussing and screaming this morning. That foolish young man's in needs some coffee."

Here's another one. See if you can get it. "That’s a cat-eyed, high-line rider who’s a gunny. He’s known for visiting Hassayampa creek when making deals. You’ll never see him sitting on his gun hand while drinking coffin varnish or chasing calico queens."

The meaning: A cat-eyed high-line rider is a very mean outlaw who rides the mountain ridge to keep an eye out for the law below. The kind of outlaw when he's in town has to keeps his eyes open, sits with back to wall, facing the door, to keep from being “downed” by a jealous rival. The gunny word means he’s also a hired gun. The Hassayampa creek means he’s know to lie. So he really can't be trusted. Never sitting on his gun hand is the kind of guy you see who keeps his hand close to the holster at all times even while drink whiskey or chasing a saloon whore.

Whew, are you ready for another one? Come on I’ll give you an easy one this time. "He’s a gun tipper leather slapper, and he’s built high above his corns."

Did you get this one? A Leather slapper is a gunmen. Gun tipper is a man who shoots through the end of a swivel holster. He never draws the weapon. And he’s so tall he can't tell you if his feet are cold. LOL

Here are a few more colorful words you just might enjoy:

Bull cheese = beef jerky
Border shifter = tossing gun from one hand to the other without pausing while firing it.
Can openers = spurs
Carpieta = saddle blanket
Case of slow = a man too slow to get his gun in action, loser in a gun fight with a gunny. ;-D
Hideout gun = derringer
His cinch is getting’ frayed = you’ve worn out your welcome
His cows have twins = suspected of being a cow thief.
Hame-headed = a stupid horse, sometime used for humans.
Five beans in a wheel = you’ve got five shots in your gun
Coffee cooler = one who is a loafer.
Cold blazer = someone who is bluffing.
Cattle Kate = a woman rustler

Alright, now that we’ve had some fun with our Cowmen…let’s talk other parts of the country… who can tell me different terms from where they’re from that the rest of us wouldn’t know.

New Jersey = “Getting wacked” meaning killed. “What the Fu…” Well, we all know the ending to that phrase. And it means, what’s going on?

Califorina = “Let’s do lunch” meaning, don’t call me – ever – but we’ll act like friends when we meet in public.

New York = “I’ll have my attorney call your attorney” A polite way to say, I’m going to sue you.

Kansas = “Just watching the grass grow” meaning, I’m bored.

O.K., your turn!



Judi Fennell said...

I totally failed at this! Can't even come up with one. Is there a dictionary somewhere?

But very fun and a nice laugh to wake up to. Happy Sunday, Hawk!

Kat Sheridan said...

Hilarious article! I've studied foreign languages, but "cowman" defeats me! The term I learned while living in Pennsylvania was "red up" (or "red out"), meaning to clean up or clean out, as in "Guess it's time to red out that hall closet!"

~Sia McKye~ said...

Funny examples, Hawk. Living all around the country I've found quite a few *special* Languages around. The brain is too tired presently to call them forth...

Can I borrow some of your energy?

aries18 said...

Great examples of cowman talk. I hadn't heard of any of them! They made me laugh out loud though. I'd love to read that dictionary that Judi was asking about.

Houston A.W. Knight said...


Welcome! Glad you had a good laugh. That's always a great way to start a day!

As a matter of fact...The Dictionary you're looking for is called "The Cowboy Dictionary" by Ramon F. Adams. I love the book.

I hope you're having a Happy Sunday too. Come back and visit...ya' hear?


Ken Coffman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Houston A.W. Knight said...


Thanks for dropping by.

Good golly girl...
this blog seemed to hit the funny bone! LOL, it's nice to know I've made you laugh.

Now this Red UP is interesting...hum, wonder how it came about. There is a term they used in Chicago that was similar, they'd say "time to rent up the closet" meaning time to rip up the mess and clean it out.
RED OUT...never heard that one, but I like it.

Oh, I hope you're still not in Penn...too cold up there today.

Hugs - do come back and visit!

Houston A.W. Knight said...


Oh, I remember that stuff! Yes, I loved it when I had it. I'm not sure where to get it these days. It seems harder to find. LOL

I wish I had what I use to have, because now I know what to do with it.

The little I do have these days comes from taking my alfalfa pills everyday. I'd be dead if I didn't. My days start at 4 a.m. and don't end util 9 or 10 p.m. Yeah, long days but life is good.


P.S. when you think of those words come back and let us know!

Houston A.W. Knight said...


Welcome to my blog and I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you'll visit often. I blog once a week...usually Sunday is when I put up a new post.

Check my answer to Judi about the cowboy dictionary, there really is one. LOL! Not lie! :-D


Dana S. said...

Amusing article, I was able to guess at a little, correctly. I'm from WNC and have had to translate Appalachian for co-workers, sometimes.

summer teeth: summer there and summer gone.

stove up: stiff back or muscles; constipated.

puffed up like a toad: angry

Houston A.W. Knight said...


Welcome to my blog!

I love your suggestions...I've never heard any of those.

I did hear they talk backwards in Kentucky...yes for no, no for yes, up for down, down for up, good for bad and bad for good. Does anyone know if that's true?


Liza said...

I'm in TN, so we use the word y'all all the time. Also in the South(TN & MS especially) you call all soft drinks Coke. Doesn't matter if you are talking about Diet Cokes, Sprites, or any other soft drink, it's a Coke.

Houston A.W. Knight said...


You live in TN - The home of Elvis!!?? And your list isn't any longer than that! OMG, girl, you live in a place full of interesting chit chat...

Come on girl...give it up! WE WANT TO KNOW IT ALL!Those in Memphis have a talk all their own.

Glad you came back to visit.

Cyber hugs

Houston A.W. Knight said...

BTW Liza... Where were you last week? You feeling alright? I missed you.

Gosh girl, you missed my best blog...all the Romance Bandits (all Golden heart winners) had an invasion on my blog last week. You missed a lot of fun chatter.

Well, you take care. Just wanted you to know I missed your visit and your comments.


Vicki said...

OMG Hawk, this was great. I understood a few, but not many and I'm from the south, you'd think I'd know more of them.

I know I call a pond a pond, but SG calls it a crik.

Houston A.W. Knight said...


OMG...I didn't know a crik was a pond...I thought is was a small river...Man, you learn something new everyday.


Liza said...

I'm actually in Nashville, but I guess we talk about the same as people in Memphis, although Memphis really is different from most of TN. One big "word" I hear here is fixin, which means I'm about to do something.

I had to travel to Dallas for work last week and I'm still playing catch-up on my blogging.