Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kickin Never Gets You Nowhere, 'Less'n You're a Mule

I found this book called "Western Words" at the Salvation Army. I love it for the following reasons:

1. It was honored for its "typographical excellence". I can only assume this is referring to the "wove antique paper" that does indeed add a certain charm.

2. On the back it has the "For Victory: Buy United States War Bonds" stamp

3. It was owned by someone named J. Ogden Mills. I am 99.9% certain that means that he was related to the famous Mills family (three sons) that originally came to California during the gold rush. One of them was Darius Ogden Mills, at one time the richest man in state and the founder of the Bank of California. His grandson Ogden Livingston Mills held a number of positions in United States public office.

4. J Ogden Mills left something handwritten in the middle of the book. When I researched that a little bit I found out that it is a Sanskrit proverb.

As if all of those things did not make this little dictionary special enough, it is actually filled with awesome cowboy vocabulary that I secretly hope to start incorporating into my daily conversations....For example:

Hammerhead: An unintelligent horse
Gully-Washer: A very hard rain. After such a rain, in cowboy parlance, it was usually "wet 'nough to bog a snipe"
Tonsil Varnish: Slang for whiskey
and my most favorite Airin the Paunch: Vomiting

I was on my hammerhead and all of the sudden we were caught in a gully-washer and to keep warm I hit the tonsil varnish good and heavy and ended up airin' the paunch.