Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Western Sayings

By Anna Kathryn Lanier

Few weeks ago, I got a new book “Savvy Sayin’s: True Wisdom form The Real West” collected by Ken Alstad.  The back blurb says: Ken worked as an Arizona farm and ranch reporter, became vice-president of Leo Burnett Advertising and, as a researcher of frontier lore, spent 20 years collecting Old West witticisms. This is the books 14th printing, reflecting the sayings’ enduring relevance.  I thought I’d share a few of his sayin’s with you. 
·         Silence can be a speech.

·         A cowboy who says he ain’t never been thrown is a liar.

·         Wild oats make a mighty poor breakfast.

·         Sleepin’ late keeps a fellow huntin’ his horses.

·         Life is one man getting’ hugged for sneakin’ a kiss and another getting’ slapped.

·         You can educate a fool, but you can’t make him think.

·         When a territory gets full of family men and empty of game, it’s time to move on or get married.

·         An optimist is a man who, when she says, “I’m tellin’ you no for the last time,” he says, “I knew you’d weaken in time.”

·         Priceless ain’t free.

·         Careful is a naked man climbin’ a bobwire fence.

I really haven’t had time to read the book, including the 4 page introduction.  The book is about 95 pages long, and probably averages 7-10 quotes on each page.  Woodcutting illustrations by Fredric Remington and Charles M. Russell are included throughout the book, so the number of quotes per page varies, but needless to say, there are a LOT of saysin’s. 

Do you have a favorite Western Sayin’?  On my own blog today, I’m offering up an Old West recipe: Stack Cake….come by and see what that means and when they were often served.

Anna Kathryn Lanier


  1. Great sayings Anna Kathryn! I love cowboyisms.
    Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes was dressing up.
    Wisdom bringers for teachers,
    A homely woman was "Montgomery Ward woman set West on approval"
    A mail order wife was a "catalogue woman" or "heart and hand woman".

    Fun Post!

  2. Hi, Paty and Ashley. Thanks for stopping by. The book is a real treasure. Thanks for sharing your favorite quotes, Paty!

  3. Anna Kathryn, loved your sayings. My neighbor always tells me, "Don't squat with your spurs on." Then she laughs as if it's the first time we've heard it.

  4. I love cowboy quotes! They're always the best.

    I love Paty's and Caroline's contributions, too.

  5. Great post! My favorite saying, (and I have no idea where I first heard it) is, 'If you climb in the saddle, you best be ready to ride.'

  6. Thank you!! These were just wonderful. I smiled reading down the list.



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