Weird History 40 Extremely Weird Slang Terms From The Wild West  

Brent Sprecher
6.6k votes 1.1k voters 60.5k 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
326 66
High-Falutin'

The manner of a self-important or pompous person.

2
301 61
Catawampus

When things are askew or awry.

3
243 45
Leaky Mouth

What someone has when they talk or gossip too much.

4
269 60
Backdoor Trots

When you have diarrhea.

5
190 52
Barkin' At A Knot

When you're wasting time or doing something useless.

6
173 53
Prairie Coal

Dried cow manure used to fuel fires.

7
152 42
Raisin' Sand

To make trouble or cause a ruckus.

8
173 54
Toad Strangler

A heavy rain or downpour.

9
139 35
Wobblin' Jaw

What someone has when they talk or gossip too much.

10
138 35
Paintin' Your Nose

Getting drunk.

11
150 45
Lincoln Skins

Paper money or cash; greenbacks.

12
137 38
Barkin' Irons

A colorful name for pistols.

13
148 45
Higgledy-Piggledy

A state of confusion.

14
130 38
California Widow

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

15
150 53
Black-Eyed Susan

A six-chambered revolver pistol or six-gun.

16
131 43
Guttersnipe

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

17
134 45
Pirooting

Having sex.

18
118 39
Scamper Juice

Whiskey.

19
123 43
Four-Flusher

A liar or cheater; a swindler.

20
112 40
Bag Of Nails

When everything seems to go wrong at once.

21
107 37
Five Beans In The Wheel

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

22
104 38
Beetle-Crushers

A colorful name for feet.

23
85 31
Honey-Fuggled

When someone is tricked, treated or swindled.

24
87 33
Hair In The Butter

When a situation is delicate.

25
89 35
Of The First Water

Something or someone that is first-rate or excellent.