Culture

40 Extremely Weird Slang Terms From The Wild West  

Brent Sprecher
9.9k votes 1.4k voters 73.3k views 40 items

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 "brothels." 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.

list ordered by
1
High-Falutin'

The manner of a self-important or pompous person.

2
Leaky Mouth

What someone has when they talk or gossip too much.

3
Catawampus

When things are askew or awry.

4
Backdoor Trots

When you have diarrhea.

5
Barkin' At A Knot

When you're wasting time or doing something useless.

6
Prairie Coal

Dried cow manure used to fuel fires.

7
Wobblin' Jaw

What someone has when they talk or gossip too much.

8
Higgledy-Piggledy

A state of confusion.

9
Barkin' Irons

A colorful name for pistols.

10
Raisin' Sand

To make trouble or cause a ruckus.

11
California Widow

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

12
Toad Strangler

A heavy rain or downpour.

13
Scamper Juice

Whiskey.

14
Paintin' Your Nose

Getting drunk.

15
Guttersnipe

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

16
Lincoln Skins

Paper money or cash; greenbacks.

17
Five Beans In The Wheel

When there's five bullets in a six-chambered revolver or six-gun.

18
Four-Flusher

A liar or cheater; a swindler.

19
Pirooting

Having sex.

20
Of The First Water

Something or someone that is first-rate or excellent.

21
Black-Eyed Susan

A six-chambered revolver pistol or six-gun.

22
Bag Of Nails

When everything seems to go wrong at once.

23
Honey-Fuggled

When someone is tricked, treated or swindled.

24
Blatherskite

An overly talkative, annoying person.

25
Slumguzzling

To engage in deceptive or fraudulent behavior.