Even after penning over thirty-five contemporary western books, I still wind up doing some kind of research for every one. Just when I think I know all there is to know about rodeoing or ranching or horse training, I come to a part in the story where I have to stop and pull out a reference book or go online. Every now and then, I decide to write about something completely unfamiliar to me, like quarter horse racing or therapy animals or infectious bovine diseases.
In an attempt to make my western characters sound authentic when they speak, I have a long (and constantly growing) list of cowboy phrases and slang. I share some of them with you today.
Airing the Lungs - cussing
Barking at a Knot - doing something useless
Best Big and Tucker - best clothes
Choke Strap - a necktie
Chew Gravel - thrown from a horse
Eatin’ Irons - silverware
Flannel Mouth - fancy talker
Hoosegow - jail
Odd Stick - eccentric person
Pull in Your Horns - quit looking for trouble
Roostered - drunk
Squinny - to cause a laugh
Taradiddles - Falsehoods, traveler’s yarns or tales
Too Much Mustard - a braggart
Wobblin’ jaw - talks to much
What do you say, just for fun, let's play a game. Try and guess the meaning of “Scratching Rake” and post your answer below. Now, no Googling. If you don’t know the meaning, just make your best guess ☺
So, who wants to go first? Let’s get a "wiggle on" !