American Chuck Wagon

American Chuck Wagon

Old Chuck Wagon Jargon

Here is some of the old jargon used along the cattle drives from the Chuck Wagon: Cowboys used many different words to explain things.

Wreck pan:
The pan in which cowboys placed their dirty dishes following a meal.
Squirrel can:
The large can in which cowboys scraped the food scraps
before placing them in the wreck pan.
Cook’s last job of the evening:
Point the tongue of the chuckwagon toward the north
so the herd could “follow the tongue” the next day.
Gut robber, greasy belly, biscuit shooter:
Cowboys names for both the ranch house and trail drive cook.
Coffee recipe:
A hand full of coffee for every cup of water.
Possum belly:
A rawhide apron attached to the underside of the chuckwagon
in which wood and buffalo chips are stored for the dinner fire.
Why cooks threw dirty dishwater under chuckwagon:
This helped protect the cook’s domain by discouraging cowboys
from taking a nap in the shade under the chuckwagon.
Calf Slobbers – Meringue on a pie. 
Fried Chicken – Bacon rolled in flour and fried.  
Chuck Wagon Chicken – Fried bacon. 
Charlie Taylor – A substitute for butter. A combination of molasses and bacon grease. 
“Man at the Pot!” – Term yelled at a person pouring himself a cup of coffee. A cowboy’s way of saying, “Pour me a cup too.” 
Spotted Pup – Cooking raisins in rice. 
Stacked to a fill – Compliment to the chief following a great meal. 
Dry Camp – A camp that has no water available. 
Prairie or Mountain Oysters – Calf’s testicles.
Cookie - Term for the Chuck Wagon Cook
Airtights: - Canned goods. Usually corn, peaches, tomatoes and milk.
Arbuckle’s axle grease: - Arbuckle brand of coffee was the one most used on the range. Axle grease referred to the strength of the coffee.
Cow Grease: - Butter.
Hen Fruit: - Eggs.
Padding Out His Belly: - Someone who eats anything, anytime.
Slow Elk: -  Steer slaughtered for food belonging too any one else other than the cattle drive.
Swamp Seed: - Rice. A staple on the trail.
Texas Butter:  - Gravy made from steak grease and flour. If available, milk was used.

Chuck Wagon History