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Dictionary of the American West: Over 5,000 Terms and Expressions from Aarigaa! to Zopilote Paperback – Aug 7 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Texas Christian Univ Pr; 2nd Expanded, Revised ed. edition (Aug. 7 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875653731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875653730
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.6 x 22.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,229,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Blevins is well known for fictionalizing the history of the American West in works like Stone Song: A Novel of the Life of Crazy Horse, but at the same time he is lauded for his accuracy. He maintains that, like any other subgroup in America, Westerners have a language all their own, and over time he has grown frustrated when his editors or readers did not understand his writing. The result is this dictionary, expanded and revised from the 1992 edition (Facts On File), which defines terms commonly used in the West. Many of the 5000-plus entries are new or rewritten, and the text pays greater attention to the Pacific Coast States, including Alaska. In addition, greater emphasis is placed on words from many of the minority groups influencing Western history, from Mormons to blacks, who are often overlooked in similar works. As a result, this dictionary is much more current than the venerable Western Words: A Dictionary of the American West (o.p.) or Western Words: A Dictionary of the Old West (Hippocrene, 1997), both by Ramon Frederick Adams. The engagingly written entries are arranged alphabetically and frequently include guides to pronunciation. Overall, an informative and entertaining work; recommended for public and academic libraries. Daniel Liestman, Kansas State Univ. Libs., Manhattan
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa7362a38) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa74ab840) out of 5 stars Dictionary of the American West Nov. 26 2008
By D. Moore - Published on
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa74aba8c) out of 5 stars Dictionary of the American West June 22 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
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
HASH(0xa74abe1c) out of 5 stars It's a fantastic piece of work Aug. 15 2014
By John Hamilton - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just downloaded the Kindle version of this book. It's a fantastic piece of work, very comprehensive, with pronunciation guides and origins and combinations. Even the introduction is fascinating, with updated usage recommendations on vexing words such as squaw, Anasazi, and Indian/Native American. An excellent resource for Western writers, or anybody wishing to know more about the unique lexicon of the American West.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa74abe10) out of 5 stars Best West dictionary so far! May 15 2011
By Dinky - Published on
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
HASH(0xa74abe04) out of 5 stars What's a March 5 2002
By Chris Garcia - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful dictionary. Western language takes work and violence and humor and a canny sexuality and uses them to enrich the terse conversation of cowboys, Indians, loggers, and other wild folk with history, culture, tradition, puns and irreverence. It's a language that comes from Spanish and French and Dutch and Indian and cussedness.
This dictionary pauses in its definition of mayordomo to discuss New Mexican acequias in a liesurely way. The definition of dogie, and speculation on its origins, is a satisfying essay on its own.
It's a book for reading, not a reference tool--it's too hard to get out of to be resorted to on a purely practical basis. Makes you glad to be a speaking creature.
* A murder. A body in the streets at dawn. Said to have been commonplace in the early days of Los Angeles and in Denver.