Every sport has its own lingo, but rodeo has a language all its own. Whether you’re new to rodeo or just enjoy a good jab behind the chutes, we’ve come up with a list of our favorite rodeo slang and rodeo phrases that you may or may not be familiar with.
So please enjoy EDITION TWO, our (never complete, sometimes slightly inaccurate or exaggerated, but always in good fun) dictionary of cowboy slang.
Click HERE to see our full list of rodeo terms.
The back corner of the timed event side of the arena where the rider must back his or her horse into before nodding for their calf/steer. Also, what some roughstock competitors call the bucking chute.
A bull or a bronc that doesn’t have any buck or just runs around the arena.
Don’t Risk It, Rope the Brisket [dohnt risk it, rohp the bris-kit]
No, we’re not talking about what you’re picking up for dinner. This term means roping your team roping steer really low around the neck, a sure shot on the heading side but a definite wild spin for your heeler.
Duck Spinner [duhk spin-er]
You’ll be 83 points all day on him. He’s just out there and around to the right, just a real nice bull. A bull you want to draw: solid with a predictable pattern. See also: Spur Bait
Get to the Fence [get tuh the fens]
What bullfighters will yell at you if you buck off and lay in the middle of the arena like a fat panda.
Get a Holt [get ey hohlt]
Instead of describing this, let the 2016 world champion Zeke Thurston teach you how.
Hanging in the D’s [hang-ing in the dees]
You ain't going to win anything there, cowboy, you better let loose and spur a few licks.
He Ain’t Hooky [hee eynt hoo k-ee]
What contractors tell you to make you feel better, but 99.99 percent of the time they’re lying.
Heel Crow [heel kroh – alt: Caah CAAAH!]
When you make a wicked heel shot and all your buddies start cawing like a crow from the box.
A REAL cowboy.
The best of the best. Ornery, wild, a real bucker, boys.
Spur Bait [spur beyt]
A horse or bull that goes out there and bucks like he’s just begging to be spurred. See also: Duck Spinner.
The act of flanking and gathering your goat’s legs while in the air, landing with them already crossed and ready to tie—not what your granny makes for Thanksgiving dinner. Also the talk of the great goat tying debate of stuffing versus gathering. Which side of the debate do you fall on?
Wild Ride [wahyld rahyd]
A costumed—and often alcohol-induced—side competition at some rodeos. See professional cowboys let it hang loose in animal suits, dresses, and other creative costumes as they compete for fun, and dare we say it, glory.
No, it’s not just a line from an Usher song, it means you got out good on the barrier so you better jump that steer or sling your rope and you’ll be in the money.
You Were Robbed [yoo wur rob-d]
When you make a perfect heel shot, pull your slack up, dally, and POOF some invisible robber pulled your rope right off those feet. Sorry, man, we don’t know what to tell you either besides “you were robbed.”