Our Ancestral Pioneers and Words They Used

Those ancestors they moved from the eastern coastal homelands to seek a new life in the mid-west and far west faced a long journey, work to establish a homestead, harsh weather and long periods of isolation from towns and other people. They even developed their own phrases and slang terms for things and activities.

Here are a few such words and terms, what they mean and see how many you have seen written or heard of:

Eyes peeled – to keep an lookout.

Lead poisoning – meant you had been shot by a gun with a lead bullet.

Pony up – to pay a debt, pay up.

A Bee – a gathers of friends to work on a common project such as a quilting bee or cornhusking bee.

Fixins – to add all the extras and trimming to a project or even a meal.

Mosey – to shuffle or walk slowly.

Vintage – referred to the year of one’s birth.

Spell – an undefined period of time such as to sit for a spell or having a dry spell in the weather.

Red Shirts – this referred to miners.

One-eyed city / town – a small, slow or sleepy location.

Hankering – having a craving or desire for something.

Dander – showing a strong emotion or anger.

Gone to Chicago – someone who vanished, disappeared.

Out of the woods – over the worst part of a bad situation or problem.

Seven by Nine – something of an inferior quality and also a small window pane measuring 7 by 9 inches.

Tickled to Death – very pleased and happy with the results or an item.

Photo: Frontier covered wagons

Related FamilyTree Blogs

Expansion of America

Our Brave Ancestors

Types of Food Eaten in 1800s

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