|Montana cowboys, c1910|
These are from Francis Lynde’s railroad novel, The Taming of Red Butte Western (1910), to be reviewed here later this week. Once again I struck out on a few. If anybody knows the Old West meaning of “monkey motions” or “wickerware,” leave a comment.
bucky = general reference to a male. “You can bully and browbeat a lot of railroad buckies when you’re playing the boss act, but I know you!” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
|Train wreck, 1911|
deadhead = to make a trip without passengers or freight. “Benson returned from the west, coming in on a light engine that was deadheading from Red Butte to the Angels shops.” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
dub = an awkward person or player; a bungler. “I did see him; saw ’em both go through the little door, one after the other, and heard it slam before the other dub turned up.” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
|Oregon Short Line rail car|
half-seas over = drunk, intoxicated, inebriated. “Tryon came down a few minutes ago, considerably more than half-seas over, and said he was ready to take his engine and the first section of the east-bound midnight – which would have been his regular run.” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
house of call = a place, usually a public house, where unemployed workmen assemble, ready for the call of employers. “Calico being the nearest approach to bunting obtainable at Jake Schleisinger’s emporium, two doors up from Red-Light Sammy’s house of call.” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
|Man with imperial|
jerkwater = a train not running on the main line; so called from the jerking (drawing) of water to fill buckets for supplying a steam locomotive. “‘We are in the thick of things over on the jerkwater just now,’ he explained, ‘and I don’t like to stay away any longer than I have to.’” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
make a spoon or spoil a horn = make a determined effort to achieve something, whatever the cost; dates from the practice of making spoons out of the horns of cattle or sheep. “We shall either make a spoon or spoil a horn. How would you be fixed in the event of a telegraphers’ strike?” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
not on your tintype = absolutely not; a general term of derision, dismissal, denial. “Want to stay here and keep your feet warm while I go and do it? Not on your tintype, you yapping hound!” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
|Julius Pintsch, 1815-1884|
scamp = to do something in a skimpy or slipshod fashion. “Don’t scamp your meals, Grady.” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
shindy = noise or commotion. “I’d have him safe under lock and key before the shindy begins tonight, if it was my job.” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
take a flyer = take a chance or risk. “Tell me, what man or men in the company’s service would be likely to be taking a flyer in Red Butte real estate?” Francis Lynde, The Taming of Red Butte Western.
Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
Coming up: Johnny D. Boggs, Northfield
What fun! Of all of those, "take a flyer" is the only one I ever use.ReplyDelete
I've heard jerkwater used as in "jerkwater town." NEver knew the source of it though.ReplyDelete
I've seen 'half-seas over' in an English novel from 1855. The other one that's familiar to me is 'not on your tintype.' Wonder how that one got started?ReplyDelete
Enjoyable posts, Ron. The majority of words here were unknown to me and like Charles the definition of jerkwater is very interesting.ReplyDelete
Well the way I see it, knowing 4 is not too bad--thanks for another fun list.ReplyDelete
Veronica, I never knew that one before.ReplyDelete
Charles, unmoored from its origins, the word probably has acquired a number of meanings for people.
Elisabeth, tintypes were early photographic images, but how that phrase got started beats me, too.
David, thanks for coming by.
OGR, four is better than me, for sure.
Shindy is probably from Shindig.ReplyDelete
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