CowboySpirit.com – The legacy of the Old West is so strong today sometimes it’s easy to forget that the Old West really only lasted for fifty years, between 1840 and 1900. By 1900, the steadily increasing use of barb wire and the encroachment of the trains had ended the largest of the seasonal cattle drives that gave cowboys most of their work, although inter-state and regional drives continued in some areas down to today. The lasting impact of their favorite sayings is a mark of how dauntless and high-spirited these cowboys were.
1. A shadow means that there’s a light shining somewhere.
2. It will feel better when it quits hurting.
This phrase brings to mind the irony of “it’s always in the last place you look”.
3. “Cowboys ain’t easy to love and they’re harder to hold.” – Willie Nelson
4. Don’t sell your mule to buy a plough.
5. Use a short rope, a sweet smile, and a hot brand.
Cowboys, whether Old West or modern, aren’t afraid of a little hard work, but they also know the value of getting things done as easily and as quickly as possible!
6. You can’t trust a man that can’t trust his pants.
This refers to a man who wears a belt and suspenders, usually “in-town”, such as a banker…or a politician.
7. It’s no use barking at a knot (or it’s as useful as barking at a knot).
Barking at a knot never made a knot tighter or looser, did it? Cowboys know it’s important to use the right tool for the occasion.
8. The emptier the barrel, the louder the noise.
9. A man that straddles a fence usually has a sore crotch.
10. He saddled a cloud and rode to the great beyond.
One of the sadder cowboy phrases, this is a gentle way of saying that a fellow cowboy has passed on.
Have we missed any of your favorite Old West sayings? Please share them in the comments section!