Mental Floss

Contest Winners: Cowboy Facts!

Andréa Fernandes

Last week, we asked you to tell us one amazing fact about cowboys, salad dressing, or toys. You shared a wide variety of toy tidbits, salad dressing history, and cowboy lore, from which we've picked our two favorites...

The Winning Entries:

A 10 gallon hat doesn’t actually hold anywhere near 10 gallons. The word “gallon” is a bastardization of “galon” [Spanish] or strips of cloth or beads wrapped around the hat to decorate it. The ten gallon hat was able to fit ten “galons”, hence the name.–submitted by Oliver

Cowboys in the American West may have spoken English, but they had specialized language of their own. Cowboys used slang for a number of things. Onions, for instance, were often called “skunk eggs,” while beans were referred to as “Pecos strawberries” or “whistle berries.” Biscuits were “hot rocks,” “soda sinkers,” or “shotgun waddin’.” Coffee was sometimes called “brown gargle,” and pancakes were “splatter dabs” or “wheelers.”–submitted by Sue

Oliver and Sue each win a mental_floss T-shirt of their choice.