Cowboy Bob's Dictionary

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Ace in the Hole - Something useful held in reserve, such as a hidden gun.

Acorn Calf - A congenitally malformed calf born to a malnurished cow that consumed large numbers of acorns during the middle of her pregnancy. An Acorn Calf often looks like a dwarf, with very short legs, abnormal hooves, and a mis-shaped head.

Adobe - Clay, sun dried bricks of adobe mud, straw, and water. (Pronounced "ah-DOUGH-bee.") adobe building

Adiós - (Pronounced ah-dee-OHS.) A Spanish word, commonly used as a farewell in the West, literally meaning "To God," as in "God be with you," or "I commit you to God." In Latin America, it is also occasionally used as a greeting.

"A-Fork" Saddle - A saddle with the front end looking like an "A," -- no swells

Agonistic Behavior - Aggressive behavior; striking, kicking, and/or biting in order to gain or maintain dominance in the herd. (Not to be confused with "antagonistic" - arousing animosity or hostility.)

Ague - (Pronounced A-gyoo.) An attack of chills and fever such as that associated with malaria.

Ain't - A slang abreviation of "am not," also often incorrectly used in place of "is not" or "are not." A more proper - but never used - form of the word would be "a'n't."

Air Line - A railroad route that is relatively flat and straight, cutting a shorter route through obstacles, rather than taking a longer, easier route around them. The phrase refers to the shortest line from one place to another straight through the air and unhindered by obstructions on the ground; similar to a "bee line." Train taking a straight route through a cut

Airtights - Canned goods, such as peaches, tomatoes, etc., either in home canning jars or commercial tin cans. home canned and store-bought canned goods

Alfalfa Desperado - An ironic designation used by cowboys for a normally innocuous farmer.

All hat and no cattle - A description of someone who tries to impress others by imitating a cattleman or a cowboy, but who probably can't tell the difference between a heifer and a steer.

All Horns and Rattles - Belligerent, infuriated or enraged. A reference to the horns of cattle, used to butt or gore when these animals are angered; and to the rattle of a rattlesnake which is about to attack.

Ambulance - A light wagon with high wheels and a canvas top, originally used to transport the wounded from a battlefield. Because they had a large open area behind the bench, after the Civil War such vehicles often found civilian use as a sort of early-day pickup truck. Army ambulance being loaded

Amigo - Spanish word meaning "friend;" partner, pard, compadre.

Anasazi - An ancient group of Native American cliff dwellers who lived in what is now southern Colorado, Utah, northern Arizona and New Mexico.

Ankle Express - Traveling by means of one's own feet. "He took the Ankle Express to town." See also Ride Shank's Mare.

Aparejo - A Spanish word meaning harness or packsaddle.

App - An appaloosa horse.

Appaloosa - A horse breed often marked by a spotted rump. The breed is characterized by a white sclera (part of the outer covering of the eyeball), mottled skin and striped hooves. An appaloosa horse

Apple - The pommel or saddle horn. The word "pommel" was derived from the Latin word pomum meaning apple, hence "grabbing the apple" means to grab the pommel or saddle horn.

AQHA - Acronym for the American Quarter Horse Association (

Arab Cut Skirt - A saddle skirt which is rounded at the back to prevent rubbing on the hip of a short-coupled horse. Descendants of Arab Barb horses are often short-coupled, especially if they inherit the Barb trait of having one less pair of ribs than other breeds. Arab Cut Skirt

Arbuckle's - A common frontier nickname for coffee. "The coffee that won the West," Arbuckle's Ariosa coffee became so well known on the Western frontier that the company name became a synonym for coffee. Cowboy pouring coffee

Arizona Nightingale - See Rocky Mountain Canary..

Arizona Paint Job - An unpainted, usually weathered, surface. Unpainted barn

Arizona Strawberries - Red Mexican beans. Also called "Prairie Strawberries,." "Mexican Strawberries,." "Texas Strawberries,." etc.

Arkansas Toothpick - A long knife (also known as a California or Missouri toothpick).

Arroyo - The bed of a dry or intermittent creek or river.

Association saddle - A hornless saddle, originally provided for saddle bronc event contestants by some rodeo associations. Association saddle

Average - At rodeos with more than one go-round, contestants with the highest combined scores or fastest combined times win the average.

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