27 Cowboy Slang Terms for Things You Eat and Drink

Image credit: 
Getty Images

If your bread wallet is empty and you need to line the flue, knight the ribbons and mosey to a beanery. Your cookie-pusher will know what you mean when you order any of these 27 cowboy food and drink items.

1. Bear Sign: Doughnuts
*
2. Overland trout: Bacon
*
3. Blue John: Skimmed milk
*
4. Boggy-top: A pie with no top crust
*
5. Cackleberries: Eggs
*
6. Charlie Taylor: A butter substitute made of sorghum or syrup mixed with fat. It wasn't good, and apparently neither was Charlie Taylor, who was terrible enough to lend his name to the unpopular trail staple.

*
7. Hen-fruit Stir and Long Sweetenin': Pancakes and molasses
*
8. Horse Thief Special / Spotted Pup: Rice or tapioca pudding with raisins
*
9. Hot Rock / Sinker / Doughgods: Biscuits
*
10. Huckdummy: Biscuits with raisins
*
11. Love Apples: Canned tomatoes
*
12. Music Roots: Sweet potatoes
*
13. Mysteries: Sausage of any variety, so-called because that's what they're made of
*
14. Bee-sweetenin’: Honey
*
15. Pecos Strawberries / Mexican Strawberries / Whistle Berries: Beans
*
16. Roastineer: To "roast an ear" of corn over the fire while still in its husk
*
17. Salt Horse: Corned beef
*
18. Saltwater Vegetables: Oysters or clams
*
19. Sipper / Texas Butter: Gravy
*
20. Skunk eggs: Onion
*
21. Son-of-a-gun Stew (or if there are no womenfolk present, Son-of-a-bitch Stew): Stew made of whatever is available and the organs of a recently-slaughtered calf. So-called because the son-of-a-gun young cattle can't keep up on the trail.
*
22. Wasp Nest: Bread

And don’t forget to order a drink!

23. Six-shooter Skink / Float a Horseshoe / Arbuckle's / Brown Gargle / Jamoka: Coffee
*
24. Belly Wash / Soda Pop / Black Water: Really weak coffee
*
25. John Barleycorn / Purge / Hop Juice: Beer
*
26. Nose Paint / Pop Skull / Prairie Dew / Rebel Soldier / Red Eye / Snake Pizen / Tarantula Juice / Tongue Oil / Tonsil Paint / Tornado Juice / Busthead / Bottled Courage / Family Disturbance / Gut Warmer / Kansas Sheep Dip: Whiskey
*
27. And a shot of whiskey with a beer chaser is a boilermaker and his helper.

* * *

We'd need a book to list them all -- what's your favorite cowboy food slang?

Collected from Legends of America's Old West Slang Dictionary and Westopedia: The Language and Lore of Real America by Win Blevins

More from mental_floss...

September 28, 2012 - 12:46pm
webby
submit to reddit