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Dictionary of the American West: Over 5,000 Terms and Expressions from Aarigaa! to Zopilote [Paperback]

Win Blevins
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Aug. 7 2008 0875653731 978-0875653730 2nd
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. It describes some teenagers we know!Spend hours perusing the dictionary at random, or read straight through to get 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 a 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.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

YA-A lively collection of 5,000 Western terms and expressions from "a-coming and a-going" to Zuni. Based on earlier dictionaries of the area but enhanced by the inclusion of such groups as "women, Indians, Mormons, Hispanics, blacks, French Canadians...," the volume contains mostly short definitions of a few lines, but some are more lengthy and include quotes and anecdotes as well as pronunciation guides and cross references. This will be useful for readers of Westerns and for regional and local history collections.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Western novelist Blevins ( The Misadventures of Silk and Shakespeare , LJ 10/1585) has developed this useful and interesting addition to the genre of dictionaries of regionalisms for lay readers. Her book therefore lacks the scholarly approach of Dictionary of American Regional English ( LJ 11/1/85) and Reader's Encyclopedia of the American West (o.p.). However, for those who don't know the difference between aguardiente and leopard sweat, this book is informative and fun. It is more encompassing than similar works, such as Western Words: A Dictionary of the American West and Cowboy Limbo (both o.p.), both by Ramon Adams; or Peter Watts's A Dictionary of the Old West (o.p.). Blevins's work incorporates the language of various Western professions, such as logging and mining, as well as ethnic groups, such as Mormons and Native Americans. Geographically, it ranges from the Klondike to the Southwest. In addition, the words included date from the history of the West to modern bureaucratic phraseology, with cross references, sources, and a pronunciation guide. Recommended for both reference and general entertainment collections. --Daniel Liestman, Seattle Pacific Univ. Lib.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Rip Snorter of a Read April 5 2004
If you love reading about the Old West, if you value the language of settlers, pioneers, cowboys and cowgirls, then you will find this little gem hard to put down. You can open it anywhere and be instantly transported to cattle drives, saloons, cabins, and the wide open prairies. Wonderful slang, near-forgotten names for plants and people and the work they did - it's all here. There is pure Americana here and a real feel for our past with all its color, exaggeration, bravado and poetry. A rip snorter of a read and an invaluable asset for anyone aspiring to add a tone of authenticity to their Western writing.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dictionary of the American West Nov. 26 2008
By D. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have only just started giving this book a read. While few people 'read' a dictionary (or will admit to it), I find this one very good. In just the first few pages, I found that it was far more detailed and far-reaching than I would have imagined. As a native Texan, I am quite familiar with most of the 'cowboy' terms but this book far exceeds my expectations.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dictionary of the American West June 22 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is invaluable to me as I work in a Museum that specializes in western exploration and life. There have been very few inquiries from visitors from all over the world that cannot be found in this book. Information from the early 1800's to the present time abound in this book in very digestible terms. Excellent reference book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best West dictionary so far! May 15 2011
By Dinky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoy reading about the west and when I get to a word that unclear what the word means I can instantly fine the meaning of it in that book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it Nov. 27 2012
By Randall W Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I loved this book! Great addition to my western library. Good information. I would recommend this book to any western fan.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of Fun To Read July 15 2009
By Karen Mercury - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
OK, this book is a lot of fun to plain sit down and read the whole way through. His recent addition of Alaska as "The West" is a bit weird, and my only other complaint would be that once in awhile he'll add something that seems arbitrary, like some surfing term. There are maybe only 5 surfing terms in the whole book--why not all 100 of them, as they *are* arguably "Westernisms"? I guess when I think "The West" I think "The Old West," as in, prior to 1900. Also for research purposes he usu. doesn't mention the year a word was coined, and he does rely a lot on novelists, so if you plan to use this book for actual historical research, you'll need to double-source every term you might want to use.

Other than that, it's plain old fun to read...He tells a lot of stories in the definitions and is obviously having a lot of fun.
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