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Dictionary of the American West

Win Blevins

Publication Year: 2008

Did you ever need to spell “dogie” (as in, get-along-little), or need to know what a “sakey” is? This is the book that can tell you how to spell, pronounce, and define over 5,000 terms relative to the American West.

Want to know what a “breachy” cow is? Turn to page 43 to learn that it’s an adjective used to describe a cow that has a tendency to find her way through fences where she isn’t supposed to be. Describes some teenagers we know…

Spend hours perusing the dictionary at random, or read straight through to give you a flavor of the West from its beginnings to contemporary days. Laced with photographs and maps, the Dictionary of the American West will make you sound like an expert on all things Western, even if you don’t know your dingus from a dinner plate.

Compiled of words brought into English from Native Americans, emigrants, Mormons, Hispanics, migrant workers, loggers, and fur trappers, the dictionary opens up history and culture in an enchanting way. From “Aarigaa!” to “zopilote,” the Dictionary of the American West is a “valuable book, a treasure for any literate American’s library.” (Tony Hillerman)

Published by: TCU Press

title page, copyright page

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pp. i-ii

Contents

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pp. iii-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. iv-

Aside from my assistant, Ruth Valsing, my primary aide in writing this book has been Ernie Bulow of Gallup, New Mexico, a master of many subjects. My first consultant on Indian peoples has been the Honorable Clyde M. Hall of Fort Hall, Idaho, man of medicine. My constant telephone advisors were novelist Richard Wheeler and historian Dale Walker. Thanks, Ernie, Clyde, Richard, and Dale. I have depended principally on the following writers and Westerners in the areas...

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Author’s Note for the Second Edition

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pp. v-

This book is an expanded and revised edition of the original, published in 1993. I have included Alaska, have increased the number terms relating to the Pacific Coast states generally, and have sought out new terms of contemporary American Indian English. Hundreds of main entries have also been rewritten. I hope readers find the book useful, and have fun reading it.

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Introduction

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pp. vi-xvi

Dictionary of the American West was conceived while listening to writers gripe. Some years ago, a group of writers at a convention of the Western Writers of America fell to talking about how our editors didn’t understand Western words. The funniest and most appalling story was about an editor who knew buckskins is a word for Davy Crockett deerskin clothes but didn’t know it’s a color of horse. So she wrote in the margin of a manuscript, “I know buckskins get old and stiff and smelly, but I’ll be...

D

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pp. 113-134

E

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pp. 134-141

F

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pp. 141-155

G

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pp. 156-174

H

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pp. 175-196

I

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pp. 196-202

J

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pp. 202-206

K

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pp. 206-210

L

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pp. 211-227

M

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pp. 227-249

N

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pp. 250-256

O

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pp. 257-262

P

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pp. 262-297

Q

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pp. 297-299

R

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pp. 299-318

S

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pp. 319-384

T

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pp. 385-402

U

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pp. 403-404

V

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pp. 404-406

W

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pp. 407-422

Y

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pp. 422-425

Z

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pp. 425-426

A Guide to Further Reading

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pp. 427-429


E-ISBN-13: 9780875654836
E-ISBN-10: 0875654835
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875653730

Page Count: 429
Illustrations: 97 b&w photos., 3 maps.
Publication Year: 2008