October 18, 2008

Express Yourself Western Style--Rodeo and Western Sayings

The American West has contributed more than a few colorful expressions and words to the fabric of our country. This is also true of the rodeo, which holds a special place in the western experience. A little background on the rodeo before we express ourselves western-style.

Rodeo came into being when cowboys from different ranches engaged in friendly, and not so friendly, competitions of skill after long cattle drives in the late 1800s. Such a cowboy gathering was a good place to blow off steam and a form of needed entertainment. When the Homestead Act and barbed wire fences brought an end to the open range, cowboys would gather at stock shows and compete.

When was the first rodeo held? History isn’t clear on this and it’s hotly contested.

Payson, Arizona claims it’s the oldest continuous rodeo (1884). But when the game Trivial Pursuits upheld Prescott Arizona’s documented claim as the oldest organized rodeo (1888) it was Pecos, Texas that threatened to sue based on its documented eye-witness accounts of a rodeo that took place there in 1883. However, all three may have lost out by about fourteen or so years, according to the New York Times, since it appears Deer Trail, Colorado may hold the bragging rights as they held their event in 1869 when an Englishman, Emilinie Gardenshire, successfully rode a horse named Montana Blizzard and took home a new set of clothes as his reward. Rodeo is still going strong in big cities and small towns not only out west but throughout the United States. My own eastern town throws a rodeo the first weekend of June every year. Even New York City hosts an annual rodeo at Madison Square Garden. If you want to see some great pictures of (cute) rodeo cowboys from my local rodeo, stop by either http://www.myspace.com/annecarrole (be sure to friend me, too) or my blog where I talk about the rodeo and the history of the west at http://www.annecarrole.blogspot.com/

In my new book, Re-ride at the Rodeo, from The Wild Rose Press, part of the Wayback, Texas, series, rodeo is the element that both brings the couple together and threatens to tear them apart. You see, the hero, Clay Tanner is a saddle bronc rider looking to make some money and have a good time. He spies a pretty little blonde who looks like she could use some fun. Trouble is she turns him down. Dusty Morgan wants nothing to do with rodeo riders. Her late father rode broncs and he was never there for her—until he learned he was going to die. Now she’s looking for happily ever after and despite her attraction to the strapping cowboy, she’s not interested in a hit and run with a footloose rodeo man. At the end of the blog I’ve included an excerpt to give you a little flavor—western style and you can check out the trailer of the book at http://www.annecarrole.com/ or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU6hxQsgCEU.

Of course, in Wayback, Texas, where Re-ride at the Rodeo takes place, the Yellow Rose Rodeo is the main event every weekend from spring until fall. If you hang out in Wayback or at any rodeo, you’ll hear a lot of colorful western sayings and descriptions. So you won’t feel lost when you read Re-ride at the Rodeo or any of the other books in the Wayback series, here’s a list of sayings and terms, with their meanings, that you might want to tuck away—or use yourself.

Expressing yourself: Western Style:

Arm Jerker: An animal that bucks with a lot of power

A good saddle is not cheap, a cheap saddle is not good: You get what you pay for

All hat, no cattle: Think Washington politician—all talk, no substance

All horns and rattles: That’s one angry person

Always leave the gates the way you found them: Put things back the way they were

Bail out: No, not the $700 billion kind. It’s a horse that comes straight up on its hind legs when it leaves the chute before it starts to buck.

Bailing out: No, not what we did for Wall Street and not to be confused with the above, this is when a cowboy intentionally jumps off a bucking animal.

Bite the dust: Just what you think it means; that cowboy got bucked off that bronc and landed face first in the dirt. Ouch!

Cowboy up: Get ready to ride but also showing the grit, hard work and strong determination that marks the character of a cowboy.

Every path has a few puddles: Expect a few troubles along the way

Get in while the gate’s still open: Take advantage of a good situation

Gully washer: an extraordinary amount of rain. Guess Hurricane Ike, Gustav and Katrina would qualify.

He’s got a saddle to fit every horse: Someone who has an opinion on everything

Pulling leather: When a bronc rider holds on to any part of the saddle before the eight-second buzzer. This will disqualify the rider. Clay would never do that!

Rank bronc: a rough horse to ride

Speak your mind, but ride a fast horse: say what you have to but don’t hang around for the fallout.

Swollen up like a drowned horse: Not a very flattering description of someone with a big ego.

Walking in tall cotton: Doing real good, thank you.

When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging: Seems that’s what the banks forgot to do.

So what did you think of those expressions? Any one tickle your funny bone? Any of them familiar? Any you plan on using? Be sure to comment and feel free to share some of your own. And when you comment, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free e-copy of Re-ride at the Rodeo.

Here’s the excerpt from Re-ride at the Rodeo I promised—with expressions of a purely romantic kind!:)

From Re-ride at the Rodeo:

She shook her head. “I don’t watch, especially not bull riding.” She could never watch after that day.

He frowned. “I would have thought a girl like you would participate in the rodeo. Thought you might be a natural at barrel racing, especially given your size, and growing up in Wayback.”

She had been a natural. And she had loved it. She’d only raced here at the Yellow Rose, on a horse borrowed from Maggie Devereaux. She hadn’t been able to afford the fees, or the trailer, or the horse to make a run at it anywhere else. And then, after all that had happened, she’d lost her taste for it. It was bad enough working the rodeo as it was. Not wanting to explain, she just shrugged in answer to his question. “You’d have thought wrong.”

He shifted as if to get a better look at her. “For a woman who grew up in a rodeo town and works at the rodeo, you don’t seem all that thrilled with rodeo or cowboys.”

She shrugged again. “Maybe I’ve just had my fill. Like when you have too much of anything, you can lose your appetite for it.”

He chuckled. “Some things, maybe. Other things, never. There are things I would never get my fill of or lose my appetite for—guaranteed.” His eyes glittered with amusement and something more, like he was talking about her, which was a foolish notion.

He took a slug of beer. Over the rim of the cup he took her measure from top to waist and back again. “Like that kiss last night,” he said in a low, sexy voice.

Heat rushed up her body like it was in a race for the finish line. In the distance some mother was arguing with her child about the bathroom. Say something. Anything

You can find Re-Ride at the Rodeo at The Wild Rose Press.com For your $3 purchase you’ll also be eligible to enter a contest for a Sony E-Reader. You’ll find the details at The Wild Rose Press web site.

Also, be sure to find me on Facebook, Writers and Readers of Distinct Fiction and Shelfari in addition to Myspace. Thanks for stopping by and thank you Anna Kathryn for having me over for a chat! Now don't forget to tell us your favorite saying(s).


angie said...

i wouldnt know about westen sayings as im in england we have one about money

its in for penny in for a pound

Anne Carrole said...

Thanks for stopping by Angie and yes, I've heard that one too. And we don't only want to hear about western sayings today but ALL sayings.They are all fun!

Helen Hardt said...

Wow, this is great information for anyone who writes contemporary western. I especially loved the terms. Thanks for sharing, Anne!


Anne Carrole said...

Your welcome Helen and thanks for stopping by!:)

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Hi Anne! Waving hi from another TWRP author! Hmm, here in Texas, one of my mother's old Texas friends says, "Fear is riding on her back."

:) Super blog and enjoyed reading the rodeo sayings.

Anne Carrole said...

Waving back at you Terry!:) Your mother's friend's expression is a new on to me and a good one to add to the list!

My own mother used to always say "The Devil is in the details" when I'd try to sell her on a new idea--LOL.

Skhye said...

HI, Anne! Great excerpt. And I love the Western terms. I've got one of those dictionaries. ;) Yes, I'm geeky.

Anne Carrole said...

Hey Skye, thanks for stopping by--you'll have to let us know the name of the book. I'm sure it's a hoot!:)

Carolyn said...

Hey, Anne. My former boss, a laconic West Texas good ole boy, never got mad. He got "chapped." And this Philadelphia girl worked with him so long that I started saying "Hey," instead of "Hi," and even "y'all." (Which is better than "youse," I guess!).

Anne Carrole said...

Hahaha Carolyln--LOL. I love the getting "chapped"--Some people probably thought he was talking about some rash he had:) Thanks for stopping by and the chuckle.

Tanya Hanson said...

Good morning, Anne! What a fabulous post. I have bookmarked it for reference. (I fully intend to try my hand at writing a Wayback very soon LOL.)

And congrats on Re-ride. What a great story!

Your fellow Wild-Roser,
~Tanya Hanson
Marrying MINDA, soon to be released The Wild Rose Press


Anne Carrole said...

Thanks for stopping by Tanya and looking forward to Marrying Minda!

M.Flagg said...

Hi Anne,
Great post with lots of interesting information. I knew some of the phrases, but the history of the rodeo was very cool. Best of luck with "Re-ride..." Hoping for many sales.
Mickey Flagg

Anne Carrole said...

Thanks for stopping by Mickey. Looking forward to seeing you next weekend at the conference!

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