Cowboy Slang for ESL Students

Vancouver English Centre


Don't squat with your spurs on.
squat (verb) crouch on your heels
spurs (noun) sharp devices worn on cowboys' boots used to kick horses to make them go faster.

Don't interfere with something that ain't botherin' you none.
ain't botherin' you none
is not bothering you.
Note how the word
none is purposefully added to form an incorrect double negative, even though it is otherwise redundant.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
rain dance
Native American people sometimes danced in an effort to create rain for their crops.  Rain dances are usually most successfully during the rainy season.

The easiest way to eat crow is while it's still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swaller.
eat crow (idiom) publicly admit an embarrassing mistake.  A crow is a black bird.
swaller (slang) swallow

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
diggin' (contaction) digging

If it don't seem like it's worth the effort, it probably ain't.
If it
does not seem worth the effort, it probably is not.

It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.
does not take a genius to find a goat in a flock of sheep.

Generally, you ain't learnin' nothing when your mouth's a-jawin'.
Generally, you
are not learning anything when your mouth is talking.

If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there with ya.
If you're
riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there with you.
herd (noun) a group of cows or horses

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
lotta (contraction) lot of


bus to Seatle

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