Us History 40 Extremely Weird Slang Terms From The Wild West  

Brent Sprecher
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List Rules Vote up the Wild West slang you'd like to bring back.

For those of you who want a better idea of life in the Wild West, Old West slang terms definitely help get you in that mindset of cowboys, cattle wranglin', and casually overlooked prostitution. A romanticized and often misunderstood period of US history, the Old West utilized a vernacular perfect for the dusty and gritty lifestyles of the pioneers and outlaws who brought the wild to the region. Things people used to say in old west capture the ambience of the land in ways watching John Wayne westerns and playing Oregon Trail could not. If you were to hit the saloon on a Friday night in a frontier town, instead of "getting trashed" you would "paint your nose," which you would be "feezed," not "hyped," to do. 

Slang changed in numerous ways over many different eras in US history, from the Great Depression to the commercial boom of the '50s. Even the hobo population created slang of its own, displaying another vernacular that grew out of American culture. Read on to learn some splendiferous Wild West slang and Old West expressions that bring in a little of the frontier into your daily life.

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High-Falutin' The manner of a self-important or pompous person.

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Catawampus When things are askew or awry.

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Leaky Mouth What someone has when they talk or gossip too much.

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Backdoor Trots When you have diarrhea.

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Prairie Coal Dried cow manure used to fuel fires.

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Barkin' At A Knot When you're wasting time or doing something useless.

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Toad Strangler A heavy rain or downpour.

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Wobblin' Jaw What someone has when they talk or gossip too much.

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Raisin' Sand To make trouble or cause a ruckus.

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Lincoln Skins Paper money or cash; greenbacks.

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Barkin' Irons A colorful name for pistols.

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California Widow A woman who is separated from her husband (but not divorced).

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Higgledy-Piggledy A state of confusion.

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Black-Eyed Susan A six-chambered revolver pistol or six-gun.

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Scamper Juice Whiskey.

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Paintin' Your Nose Getting drunk.

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Five Beans In The Wheel When there's five bullets in a six-chambered revolver or six-gun.

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Guttersnipe A homeless child, particularly one who lives on the street.

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Beetle-Crushers A colorful name for feet.

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Pirooting Having sex.

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Four-Flusher A liar or cheater; a swindler.

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Bag Of Nails When everything seems to go wrong at once.

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Of The First Water Something or someone that is first-rate or excellent.

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Slumguzzling To engage in deceptive or fraudulent behavior.

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Hair In The Butter When a situation is delicate.

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Honey-Fuggled When someone is tricked, treated or swindled.

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Blatherskite An overly talkative, annoying person.

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Nibbler A small-time, petty thief.

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Greasy Belly The cook in a cowboy camp.

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Knock Galley West To beat someone senseless.

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See The Elephant To got to town or to travel to a new location for the first time.

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Get The Mitten To be rejected by a potential lover, eg., "Sally gave him the mitten."

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Fork A Hoss To ride a horse.

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Feeze A state of excitement.

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Excuse-Me-Ma'am A literal bump in the road.

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Crawl His Hump When someone is looking to start a fight.

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Coffee Boiler A person who is lazy or shirks their responsibilities.

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Mouldy Grubs A derogatory name for traveling showmen.

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Calf Slobbers The meringue on the top of a pie.

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Seven By Nine Something or someone of average or inferior quality.