It'll drive a cowboy crazy
It'll drive the man insane
And he'll sell off everything he owns
Just to pay to play her game
And a broken home and some broken bones
Is all he'll have to show
For all the years that he spent chasin' this dream they call Rodeo

-Garth Brooks

Rodeo Lingo

These terms were developed by cowboys during the era of the range cattle industry in northern Mexico and the western United States (1867-87). Some of the more common ones are listed below. For a brief history of rodeo look here!

Please /msg me if you have more you would like to add:)

  • Arizona Nightingale: A burro or donkey.
  • Arizona Strawberries: Dried beans, usually pink in color.
  • Average: The aggregate or total score for each contestant at a rodeo with more than one go-round.
  • Bangtail: A horse.
  • Barking Squirrel: A prairie dog.
  • Batch of Crumbs: Bugs one might find in blankets.
  • Barrier: In rodeo a rope stretched across the front end of the box from which the roper's or steer wrestler's horse emerges. The barrier drops when the calf or steer achieves a predetermined head start.
  • Bean Master: A cook
  • Biting the Dust: Being thrown from a horse or a bull.
  • Beef Tea: Shallow water fouled by cattle.
  • Biscuit: A saddle horn.
  • Boiled Shirt/Fried Shirt: A white or stiff shirt.
  • Build a Loop: Prepare a lasso for a throw.
  • Buckaroo:A cowboy who does ranch work for a living. In contrast, a professional rodeo cowboy's occupation is rodeo competition.
  • Bull-Dogger:The slang term for a steer wrestler.
  • Burn the Breeze: Ride fast.
  • California Banknote: A cowhide used as currency.
  • Catawampously: Fiercely.
  • Cavvy-man: The one who looked after the horses.
  • Champion:The winner of the most money at any rodeo event.
  • Charlie Taylor: A makeshift butter made from molasses and fat.
  • Chuck Line Rider: A man out of work who rode from ranch to ranch for grub.
  • Community Loop: An extra large lasso noose.
  • Coonie: A dried cowhide used to hold equipment, fuel, etc., on a chuck wagon.
  • Cowboy Up: Get ready to ride. The term cowboy up possibly refers to the men behind the chutes who would bellow out cowboy-up! to the next cowboy getting ready to ride. It is the spirit of contribution, hard work and strong determination.
  • Cowjuice: Milk.
  • Crow Hops: Mild bucking motions.
  • Doofunnies: Knives and trinkets carried in pockets.
  • Dust: To move about quickly.
  • Fence Lifter/Goose Drownder/Gully Washer: Heavy rain.
  • Fixin' for High Riding: Preparing to depart quickly.
  • Flagman: The rodeo official who signals the end of time elapsed in timed events.
  • Flag Your Kite: Hurried departure.
  • Flannel Mouth: An overly talkative man or a boaster.
  • Forty Rod Lightning: Whiskey.
  • 'Fraidy Hole: Cave or cellar.
  • Fumadiddle: Fancy dress.
  • Great Seizer: The sheriff.
  • Go-round: A round of rodeo competition.A rodeo in which each contestant competes once has one go-round.
  • Hay Waddy: Extra hand on a ranch used to cut hay.
  • Hazer; A cowboy who rides along beside a steer on the opposite side of the steer wrestler. His job is to keep the steer running in a straight line and close to the contestant's horse.
  • Hang-up: When a bull rider falls off the bull opposite his riding hand which becomes stuck or "hung-up" in his bull rope.
  • Hemp Fever: A hanging.
  • High Roller:A horse that leaps high into the air when bucking.
  • Hog: An expression bull-riders use to describe a large, unagile bull that is not considered a good draw.
  • Hooey: Slang term for nonsense, as in That's the biggest bunch of hooey I've ever heard! Also a half-hitch knot used to tie a calf's legs together in calf roping.
  • Hornswoggling: The movements of a cow, by which it threw off or evaded the rope.
  • Hurricane Deck: The back of a bucking horse.
  • Idaho Brain Storm: A dust devil.
  • Leavin' Cheyenne: Going away.
  • Life Preserver: A revolver.
  • Lincoln Shingles: Hard bread.
  • Lining His Flu: Refers to a man who is eating.
  • Loblolly: A muddy puddle.
  • Longhorned: Experienced.
  • Love Apples: Canned tomatoes.
  • Mother Hubbard Loop: A very large loop or lasso.
  • Oklahoma Rain: A dust or sand storm.
  • Overland Trout: Bacon.
  • Parade Chaps: A pair of chaps strictly for show. Might be worn for the grand entry parade at a rodeo.
  • Pepperbox: Coffee mill.
  • Pick-up Man: A mounted cowboy who helps bareback and saddle bronc riders off when the ride is completed and leads the horse out of the arena.
  • Pimple: An Eastern (or English) style saddle.
  • Pirooting: Fooling around.
  • Pulling Leather: When a bronc rider holds on to any part of the saddle, he is said to be "pulling leather." This disqualifies a saddle bronc rider if it is done before the eight-second ride is completed.
  • Quirly: A cigarette that is rolled by hand.
  • Rocky Mountain Canary: A burro.
  • Rowel: A small wheel with radiating points that form the extremity of a cowboy's spur.
    In rodeo, rowels are required to be free-wheeling and blunt.
  • Seeing Daylight: When the rider leaves the seat on a bucking horse.
  • Silk: Barbed wire.
  • Slick Heeled: A person not wearing spurs.
  • Trail Boss Lead cowboy of cattle drives.
  • Tenderfoot: What you are if you didn't know the meaning of Rodeo Lingo.
  • Turn Out: When a rider decides not to ride an animal he has drawn, or it is decided that he will be re-assigned to a different animal, the bull or horse is released from the chutes to make it easier to get the animal back into the pen.

    Love them tough-talkin' cowboys? Why, who doesn't! Oddly enough, though, ole' western cowboy slang was a bit different from what you'll pick up from Hollywood productions (go figger). Here's a list of some of my favorite authentic old southern slang.


    La Fiesta de los Vaqueros:

    Misc: Cool Western Slang:

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