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ranch lingo etymology

Pauline McNamara
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 4012
    
    6
OK maybe this belongs in meaningless drivel forum, but it is specific to javaranch. I've been wondering about some of the great "old west" vocabulary used here. Maybe someone can help this city slicker (or maybe a few non-native English speakers) with the meaning of some terms like...
What's a nit and why would you want to pick it?
Why is a newcomer called a greeenhorn? Why a horn and why green?
"Get them doggies movin'!" Why are cattle called doggies?
Any linguists out there?
cheers,
Pauline
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Pauline McNamara:
What's a nit and why would you want to pick it?
Why is a newcomer called a greeenhorn? Why a horn and why green?
"Get them doggies movin'!" Why are cattle called doggies?

A nit is the egg or newborn of a louse. And since lice can be really itchy, piking nits is a good idea.
A greenhorn comes from the fact that young deer have green horns.
Don't know about doggies.


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Johannes de Jong
tumbleweed
Bartender

Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
You mean Marilyn is picking lice from my code
Carl Trusiak
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 13, 2000
Posts: 3340
doggie or dogie is from American Western slang. A dogie is a motherless or stray calf. During roundups, the ranchhands would round them up and to encourge the calfs to rejoin the herd would shout 'giddy up little dogie' Additonally anything that lags behindhind is said to be 'dogging it' so, the term spread to include any cow or calf that had to be encourged to rejoin the herd on a roundup or cattle drive so....


I Hope This Helps
Carl Trusiak, SCJP2, SCWCD
Pauline McNamara
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 4012
    
    6
hey thanks everyone, even this city slicker can appreciate those images.
Pauline
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: ranch lingo etymology