Old West Insults & Sayings


Looking for a quick comeback or insult? Here are a few from the Old West sure to get the job done.

A Mean Cowboy

A Mean Cowboy


He was mad enough to swallow a horn-toad backwards.

He’s so mean he’d steal a fly from a blind spider.

He was so mean, he’d fight a rattler and give him the first bite.

He was mean enough to steal a coin off a dead man’s eyes.

He made an ordinary fight look like a prayer meetin’.

When I’m done with you, there won’t be enough left of you to snore.

He was mean enough to eat off the same plate with a snake.

He was so mad he could bite himself.

He was mean enough to hunt bears with a hickory switch.


He was uglier than a new-sheared sheep.

He has teeth so crooked he could eat corn on the cob through a picket fence.

His face was puckered like wet sheepskin before a hot fire.

Her face looks like a dime’s worth of dog meat.

He was ugly as a burnt boot.

He was so ugly he had to sneak up on a dipper to get a drink of water.

He looked like the hindquarters of bad luck.

His lip hangs down like a blacksmith’s apron.



She’s so ugly, she could back a buzzard off a gut-wagon.

He looks so bad his ears flop.

She’s so ugly, she’d make a freight train take a dirt road!

He’s as ugly as homemade sin.

She’s so ugly she could bluff a buzzard off a meat wagon.


He was crazy enough to eat the devil with horns on.

He’s kinda off his mental reservation.

His intelligence shore ain’t at this camp.

He’s as crazy as popcorn on a hot stove.

He is as crazy as a sheepherder.

Somebody stole his rudder.

He’s crazier than a run-over coon.

He’s studying to be a half-wit.


His brain cavity wouldn’t make a drinkin’ cup for a canary.

He couldn’t teach a hen to cluck.

He knows as much about it as a hog does a hip pocket in a bathing suit.

His knife’s so dull it wouldn’t cut hot butter.

He don’t know dung from wild honey.

If all his brains were dynamite, there wouldn’t be enough to blow his nose.

He couldn’t cut a lame cow from a shade tree.

He couldn’t track an elephant in snow.

He was so dumb he couldn’t drive nails in a snowbank.

He’s as dull as dishwater.

He don’t know any more about it than a hog does a sidesaddle.

He is plumb weak North of his ears.

He can’t tell skunks from house cats.

He had a ten-dollar Stetson on a five-cent head.

His family tree was a shrub.

He couldn’t track a bed-wagon through a bog hole.

He didn’t have nuthin’ under his hat but hair.

He couldn’t hit the ground with his hat in three throws.

He was as shy of brains as a terrapin is of feathers.

He can’t tell skunks for house cats.


He is so thin he could take a bath in a shotgun barrel.

If he closed one eye he’d look like a needle.

He is so fat, you’d have to throw a diamond hitch to keep him in the saddle.

He is built like a snake on stilts.


He was grinnin like a weasel in a hen house.

He’s as pleased as a pup with 2 tails.

He’s grinnin like a jack ass eatin cactus

She was as chipper as a jaybird.

He was grinnin’ like a baked possum.


He’s as slow as molasses in January.

He’s too lazy to yell “Sueee” in a pig pen.

He moves as slow as a crippled turtle.

He’s so lazy, molasses wouldn’t run down his legs.


He’s so crooked, he could swallow nails and spit out corkscrews.

He told lies so well a man would be a fool not to believe them.

He’s as crooked as a dog’s hind legs.

He’s lyin’ like a rug.


His voice sounded like someone forgot to grease the wagon.

His singin’ was enough to make a she-wolf jealous.

He punished the air with his singing.

He had a voice like a burro with a bad cold.


He didn’t have manners enough to carry guts to a bear.

He couldn’t hit a bull’s rump with a handful of banjos.

He was as drunk as a fiddler’s clerk.

She’s as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

He’d been in the desert so long, he knew all the lizards by their first names.

He ain’t fit to shoot at when you want to unload and clean yo’ gun.

His mustache smelled like a mildewed saddle blanket after it had been rid on a sore back hoss three hundred miles in August.

He was grittin’ his teeth like he could bite the sites off a six-gun.

It was so dry the bushes followed the dogs around.

He’s as dead as a can of corned beef.

He’s as welcome as a rattlesnake at a square dance.

This saloon’s so bad, a rattlesnake’d be ashamed to meet his mother.

He lasted as long as a pint of whiskey in a five-handed poker game.

She’s as pretty as a speckled pup.

He is as poor as a church mouse.

He’s as rich as possum gravy.

He was as popular as a wet dog at a parlor social.


Frontier Slang, Lingo & Phrases Book by Kathy Alexander

More Terms, Expanded Definitions + Reverse Lookup + More Pictures

Compiled and edited by © Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated December 2022.

Also See:

The Code of the West

Facts & Trivia of the Old West

Old West Wisdom

Old West Words – Quotes from real people of the West

Western Slang & Phrases