Weird History 40 Extremely Weird Slang Terms From The Wild West  

Brent Sprecher
6.5k votes 1.1k voters 57.9k 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
320 66
High-Falutin'

The manner of a self-important or pompous person.

2
296 60
Catawampus

When things are askew or awry.

3
239 45
Leaky Mouth

What someone has when they talk or gossip too much.

4
266 59
Backdoor Trots

When you have diarrhea.

5
189 51
Barkin' At A Knot

When you're wasting time or doing something useless.

6
172 52
Prairie Coal

Dried cow manure used to fuel fires.

7
150 42
Raisin' Sand

To make trouble or cause a ruckus.

8
171 54
Toad Strangler

A heavy rain or downpour.

9
137 35
Wobblin' Jaw

What someone has when they talk or gossip too much.

10
134 35
Paintin' Your Nose

Getting drunk.

11
147 44
Higgledy-Piggledy

A state of confusion.

12
134 37
Barkin' Irons

A colorful name for pistols.

13
146 45
Lincoln Skins

Paper money or cash; greenbacks.

14
128 38
California Widow

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

15
148 52
Black-Eyed Susan

A six-chambered revolver pistol or six-gun.

16
130 42
Guttersnipe

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

17
132 44
Pirooting

Having sex.

18
116 39
Scamper Juice

Whiskey.

19
120 43
Four-Flusher

A liar or cheater; a swindler.

20
111 40
Bag Of Nails

When everything seems to go wrong at once.

21
105 37
Five Beans In The Wheel

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

22
104 37
Beetle-Crushers

A colorful name for feet.

23
87 32
Hair In The Butter

When a situation is delicate.

24
84 31
Honey-Fuggled

When someone is tricked, treated or swindled.

25
105 48
Slumguzzling

To engage in deceptive or fraudulent behavior.