Dorothy A. Bell author of Oregon Historical romance, my blog for all my books and all about me at https://dabellm3.
On the Western Fictioner's blog today
Cowboys, and most folks during Victorian times, didn’t use a lot of curse words, especially in front of the women folk. They got their point across using colorful, imaginative words and phrases to describe events, express their opinions and reactions to people, and the world around them. I’ve complied a short list of some of my favorites.
A bungler, or one who does things clumsily
A fraud or cheat
Gullyfluff: The waste — coagulated dust, crumbs, and hair — which accumulates imperceptibly in the pockets of schoolboys.
Hobbadehoy: A youth who has ceased to regard himself as a boy, and is not yet regarded as a man.
Hugger-mugger: Underhand, sneaking. Also, “in a state of hugger-mugger” means to be muddled.
Job’s Turkey: “As poor as Job’s turkey” — as thin and as badly fed as that ill-conditioned and imaginary bird.
Arkansas Toothpick - a long, sharp knife
Beat the Dutch - if that don't beat all
Lucifers – matches
Skedaddle - run away, escape
Sparking - courting a girl
Toe the Mark - do as told, follow orders
An upset stomach or acute feeling of nervousness
(Donkey's ears) a very long time. In reference to the length of a donkey's ears. Sometimes abbreviated to, "donkey's".
flog a dead horse
1. To continue talking about a long forgotten topic. 2. To attempt to find a solution to a problem which is unsolveable
A cheap, sensationalist magazine
– The whole thing. Also called “kit and caboodle.”
– A covering for the head, usually worn by ladies to protect their head-dresses when going to evening parties, the theatre, etc.
– Meringue on the top of pie.
– A hangman’s noose
– Dusk. The dance will start at early candle-light.
– A mail order bride.
– Fiercely, eagerly, awry, cockeyed, crooked, skewed. Also “catawamptiously.”
– To be made a cats-paw of. To be made a tool or instrument to accomplish the purpose of another.
– Not by a long chalk. When a person attempts to effect a particular object, in which he fails, we say, “He can’t do it by a long chalk.”
– A fool
– Stingy, mean.
– A kettle for carrying coals to the fire. Also called a coal scuttle.
– Come to ruin, fail, or fall heavily
– A fit of hysteria
– A gold ten dollar coin.
– Five cartridges in the six chambers of a revolver. Westerners often left the chamber under the hammer empty for safety reason.
– A term used by teamsters to their horses and oxen, when they wish them to go faster. “To Gee” means to agree.
– The ears and feet of swine cut up fine, boiled, and pressed into the form of a cheese.
– Riotous noise, confusion
– To cheat or trick, to pull the wool over one’s eyes
– A social event in which the community came together to husk corn and to drink. Also called a “husking frolic.”
– A beating, a thrashing.
– A mean parasite, one who will stoop to any dirty work
– A rectangular leather saddlebag popularized by the
– Fried or roasted calves’ testicles. Also called Prairie Oysters.
– Waste time.
– A packet of papers used to roll cigarettes. Also called a “dream book” or a “bible.”
– A mean, rotten or worthless person.
– A boisterous party for newlyweds
k – A mean contemptible fellow.
– Rascality, treachery.
– Deceiving, humbugging.
– Superior, outstanding, exudes leadership.
– Falsehoods, traveler’s yarns or tales.
– A mild oath or explanation.
– That idea or argument isn’t going to work. Or, the person saying it doesn’t believe what you’re saying.
– To stop a wheel so as to prevent its going backwards or forwards
– Sinews of the buffalo or another animal, or small strips of thin deer-skin, used by the dwellers and hunters of the prairies for sewing.
Bell wether- someone or something that is an indicator of future trends.