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Western Slang & Phrases - N-O

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Nailed to the Counter - Proven a lie.

Nairn - None

Namby-pamby - Sickly, sentimental, saccharin.

Nancy or Nancy-boy - An effeminate man.

Nanny - A prostitute.

Nanny Shop - Brothel

Nary - None, not, zero

Nary-One - Neither.

Navy Model - Colt firearms.

Necessary - Outhouse, water closet; bathroom.

Neck Oil - Whiskey.

Necktie Social or Necktie Party - A hanging or lynching, most often referred to in vigilante hangings.

Nester - A squatter who settled on government land, usually to farm.

Nibbler - A petty thief.

Nibble - To take or steal.

Nigger In a Woodpile - Disappearance, unsolved mystery.

A Lady of the Evening poses for the camera.

A Nanny poses for the camera.

This image available for prints and downloads HERE.




Pretty Polly Pouter

Is a reg'lar out-and-outer.



Nigh Unto - Nearly, almost.

Night Hawk - While the rest of the cowboys slept under the stars on a cattle drive, one unlucky soul who drew the short straw, the "night hawk", had to stay up all night standing guard.

Nippent - Impudent, impertinent.

Nipper - A baby or small child.

Nobby, Nobbish - Fine, stylish.

No Count or No Account - Of no account, worthless.  "That no count boy does nothing but get into trouble.”

Nohow - Not at all, no way.

No Odds - No difference, no consequence, no matter.

Nose Paint - Whiskey.

Nosey Parker - Someone who is nosey.

Not By a Jugful - No consideration, on no account, not at all.

Notch - An opening or narrow passage through a mountain or hill.

Nothing To Nobody - Nobody's business.

Notions - A wide range of miscellaneous articles for sale.

Nubbin - Saddle horn.

Nurly - A corrupt pronunciation of gnarly, i. e. gnarled.

Nymphs du Prairie - Prostitutes.




Oats - To feel one's oats, is to feel one's importance.

Odd Fish or Odd Stick - A person who is eccentric or odd in his manners. "Ol' Farmer Jones sure is an odd stick."

Off his nut, off his rocker, off his chump - Weak in the head, crazy, illogical; someone who behaves strangely.

Offish - Distant, reserved, aloof.

Off one's feed - Unable to eat, having no appetite.

Of the First Water - First class. "He's a gentleman of the first water."

Oh-be-joyful - Liquor, beer, intoxicating spirits. "Give me another snort of that oh-be-joyful."

Old - Crafty, cunning. If someone tries to take advantage of someone else, who is too cunning to be deceived, he might say "I'm a little too old for you.”

Old Betsy or Old Blue - A gun.

Old Country - A term applied to Great Britain, originally by natives from that country, who had immigrated to the United States.

Old Countryman - A native of England, Scotland, Ireland, or Wales. The term was never applied to persons from the Continent of Europe.

Old Dan - Often used to refer to a trustworthy mule.



Whiskey was called  lots of names, one of which  was "Old Orchard."

This image available for photographic prints and  downloads HERE!


Old Epharim - A term that mountain men called both male or female grizzly bears.

Old Man - The ridge found between two sleepers in a feather bed.

Old Orchard - Whiskey.

Old Pie - An expression of admiration or approval.

Old Pod - Old man.

Old Rackatee - A gun.

Old Rats - Equivalent to "one of the boys," a hearty old fellow.

Old Scratch - The devil.

Old Stager - One well initiated in anything.

Old States - Back East.

Old Tom - Gin.

Old Towse - Whiskey

Oldermost - Oldest. "He’s the oldermost fellow at the reunion.”

On One's Own Hook - On one's own account, for himself. "He is doing business on his own hook.

Onplush - Nonplus.

Old Woman - The cowboy's cook. Though the cook was often the most popular man on the cattle drive, cooking was still considered to be "women work."

Oil - Nitroglycerine. Was often used to open bank vault. Also called "soup."

One-horse - Small, limited, inferior. "Well, if that ain’t a one-horse town.”

On or In A Pinch - On an emergency.

On the Dead - Gratis, free.

On the Dodge - Hiding out somewhere; laying low for a while. 

On the half-shell - Applied to anything prepared and ready for use.

On the Prod - Full of piss and vinegar, looking for trouble, spoiling for a fight. Said of both people and critters.

On the Shoot - Looking for trouble. "Looks like he's on the shoot, tonight."

On the Win - Winning or making money.

Oof - Money


John Wesley Hardin

John Wesley Hardin was one bad "owl hoot."

This image available for photographic prints HERE!


Opine - To be of the opinion.

Ourn - Ours.

Outlaw - A horse that cannot be tamed to ride.

Over Head And Ears - Completely overwhelmed. "He was over head and ears in debt.”

Out And Out - Wholly, completely, without reservation.

Out-and-outer - First-class.

On The Fence - Neutral or undecided.

Out Of Fix or Out of Sorts - Disarranged, in a state of disorder.

Over-Careful - Very careful.

Overland Trout - Bacon.

Owdacious - Audacious.

Owl Hoot - An outlaw

Owl Hoot Trail - The outlaw way of life.

Oxbows - Large, old-time wooden stirrups. Also known as oxyokes.



Continued Next Page


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From Legends' General Store 

Frontier Slang, Lingo & Phrases - Autographed

Frontier Slang, Lingo & Phrases - By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, Owner/Editor of Legends of America - Autographed From the wild and woolly mining camps, to the rampages of the Civil War, to the many cowboys riding on the range, those frontier folks often used terms and phrases that are no longer used in everyday language today. Yet other words and sayings were often specific to certain regions and never used across the states. These terms, as in the past, are still sometimes heard in specific areas, but are “foreign” to the rest of us. From the pages of period newspapers, books, and century old dictionaries comes the slang, lingo, and phrases of the American Frontier. Even if you're not looking for a definition, you'll get a peek into the charm and character of a historic era. In addition to the hundreds of words and phrases, readers will also enjoy more than 150 vintage images.

Signed by the Author. 6x9", paperback -- 132 pages. Published by Legends of America, 1st edition, October, 2015.


Made in the USA.  $9.95!  See HERE!   Buy Product


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