Cowboy Bob's Dictionary

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Dally (or Dallie) - To take a wrap or several wraps around the saddle horn with a rope. A steer roper dallying his rope

Dam - A horse's mother. (Derived from the French word, dame, meaning a woman.)

Dandy Brush - A stiff bristled grooming brush used for removing dirt and dried sweat from a horse's coat. Dandy Brush

Dapple gray - A horse having a coat of mottled gray. Gray horses are born dark, and the haircoat gradually changes to white over time. In the process, various types of mottling appear. Dapple Gray horses

Day Money - Winnings from a single day's event, rather than from an entire rodeo.

Day Work - Ranch work on an as-needed or day-by-day basis.

Dee ring or D-ring - A metal ring, shaped like a capital letter "D," used for attaching items to a saddle or cinch. Dee Rings

Dead As A Door Nail - As dead as if he had never been alive in the first place.

Deadeye - A skilled marksman; one who is said to be a "dead shot."

Democrat Wagon - A light, flat bed farm or ranch wagon, usually without a top, with a skeleton frame and two or more seats. It sometimes has a wire rack for a side. The term "Democrat" was not a partisan designation, but referred to the availability of this inexpensive, easy to handle, wagon to a wide range of people. Democrat Wagon

Desperado - Outlaw

Devil's Snare - See Jimsonweed.

Devil's Thumbprint - See "Prophet's Thumbprint."

Devil's Trumpet - See Jimsonweed.

Dew Fever - See Scratches.

Dew Poisoning - See Scratches.

Diamond Hitch - A hitch commonly used to fasten a load to a pack saddle. So-named because the ropes cross the pack in a diamond formation. Diamond Hitch

Diggings - A person's home, lodgings, or community -- especially temporary living quarters, such as a dugout house. Also commonly used in reference to prospectorís mining claim.

Dinero - A Spanish word for money, commonly used in the North American Southwest region.

Ditty Bag - A pouch for personal items which can be hung from the saddle or a bunkhouse nail. Ditty Bag

Dixie - A 10 dollar bank note issued privately by a French bank in Louisiana prior to the Civil War. So-called because the French word for ten -- "dix." -- is printed on the bill. Eventually, the southern U.S. became known as "the land of Dixie." Dixie 10 dollar bill

Dog-fall - A fall of a steer in bulldogging, with its legs doubled up beneath it. To be timed, a steer must fall with all four legs pointing in the same direction.

Dog House - Bunk house.

Dogie, Dogy, or Dougie - An orphaned calf, especially noted for constant bawling. According to Dr. Joseph E. Holloway, of California State University at Northridge, "dogie" was derived from the African cattle-herding word "kidogo," meaning "a little something," or "something small." The word was brought from Africa to the eastern U.S. by black slaves and then worked its way west with the cowboys.

Donkey - 1. A small member of the horse family known for its loud, braying sound; commonly used as a beast of burden.
2. An ignorant or obstinate person.

Dorsal Stripe - A dorsal stripe is a stripe that runs along the animal's backbone and which is of a color darker than the other body color. Dorsal Stripe

Dotting irons - A set of branding irons which required two or more irons to get an entire brand. There were commonly three shapes of dotting irons: a straight line, a small half-circle and a large half-circle. Combinations of these could produce almost any brand design.

Double Action - A firearm designed so that pulling the trigger performs the double actions of cocking the gun and firing it. In addition, with most double action revolvers the trigger actually performs a third action: rotating the cylinder. Most double action firearms can also be used as a single action weapon when the hammer is cocked by hand.

Double Eagle - A former United States gold coin worth 20 dollars. The United States Mintís "Eagle" gold coin was first produced in 1795 with a $10 denomination. When the United States Mint first struck $20 gold pieces in 1850, they were popularly called "Double Eagles." Double eagle gold coin

Double Rigged - Having two cinches, one in front and one in back to give a saddle more stability when roping. Double rigged saddle

Doubletree - A crossbar that connects two singletrees (or wippletrees) for pulling a horse-drawn vehicle to equalize the load between animals and prevent so-called "side draft." Single and double trees on a wagon

Doubling - Turning a horse in a tight circle, generally with a hackamore. Doubling is especially helpful in correcting poor behavior such as attempting to buck, running, or shying. Doubling two or three times in each direction is a good method of forcing the horse to get its mind off of misbehaving and focusing on the rider's cues. Doubling

Dough Wrangler - Ranch cook.

Down at the Heel - Shabby.

Download - Takin' stuff off your wagon.

Drag - 1. To pull something. 2. The rear position on a cattle drive. (For more information on trail drive jobs, see Q & A page 216 - What were the various positions on a cattle drive?) Cowboys riding in the drag of a cattle drive

Draw - Verb: 1. A shortened form of "withdraw"; such as to draw a weapon from a holster or to draw a card from a deck. "It's a bad idea to draw against a drawn gun."
2. To remove - or withdraw - something from a supply source. "The cowhand quit and went to draw his pay."
3. To cause something to come closer; such as a woodworker's "draw knife," which is pulled toward the craftsman.
4. To pull back (as the string of a bow).

Noun: 1. A shallow gully or ravine. The Ghost Riders' herd went "up a cloudy draw."
2. In rodeo, the selection of the animal a competitor is to ride.
3. A game of poker in which a player can discard cards and receive substitutes from the dealer.

Dray - 1. A low heavy horse-drawn cart, carriage, or sled without sides; used for hauling. 2. A hauling or transfer service using dray vehicles; a dray service. Crawford Bros. Transfer dray cart

Drift - (Verb) To move aimlessly, as if pushed by an external force or influence. "Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds."
/ (Noun) A heap or pile pushed together as if by the wind such as a snowdrift or drift of cattle.
. See also "Drifter."

Drift Fence - A range fence set up to keep livestock from drifting too far, especially in winter.

Drifter - A wanderer who has no fixed residence or means of support.

Drover - A person who herds -- or drives -- animals such as cattle, sheep or pigs to market. Drovers commonly work on foot, rather than horseback.

Dry Camp - A campsite with no source of water -- which can be a real problem when you consider that a horse may require as much as five gallons of water a day.

Dry Cow - A cow that does not have a calf, and thus no milk in her udder. See also "Wet Cow."

Dry farming - Agricultural techniques suited to arid lands using little or no irrigation. Common dry farming crops include Beans, peas, sunflowers, wheat, corn, squash, and various types of herbs.

Dry Line, The - An imaginary meridian at approximently 101 degrees west longitude in North America. Also called the Marfa Line due to the location of the town of Marfa, Texas. The Dry Line stretches north-south through the High Plains, with dry desert air to the west and humid Gulf air to the east. Rather than a fixed location, the Dry Line changes by as much as ten degrees from day to day and even hour to hour.

Drygulch - To ambush or shoot someone in the back.

Dude - A fancy-dressing, would-be cowboy. (Derived from the Scottish word, "dud," meaning "clothes.")

Dun - A horse with a dark colored stripe running along the spine from withers to tail (called a dorsal stripe) and a body that is a much lighter shade of that stripe. It will also commonly have areas on the legs that are the same color as the dorsal stripe, as well as a dark mane and tail. Derived from the Welsh word "dun," meaning tawny or mixed brown and black. Dun Horse

Dust Devil - A small whirlwind strong enough to whip dust and debris into the air. Dust Devil

Dust up - A fight; possibly derived from the cloud of dust stirred up during a fight. Also, a ruckus or brouhaha.

Duster - A lightweight, loose-fitting long coat designed to protect clothes from dust.. Duster

Dutch Oven - A heavy, thick-walled cast iron cooking pot, usually with a cast iron lid with a lip around the edge to hold hot embers. The name is derived from the advanced sand casting methods of 17th century Dutch foundries which resulted in cookware with smoother finishes. Dutch Ovens

Dyspepsia - Colic (in a human); indigestion.

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