Petersen: Cowboy Cliches
When an expression or idea or notion becomes as commonplace as scratching an itch, the phrase is termed a cliché. Living according to clichés reflects how most folks cope with life’s vicissitudes. So do most cowboys. Here’s a few interpretations and definitions of some common platitudes espoused by the boys in the bunkhouse. Feel free to embroider these gems on tea towels, quilt blocks and antimacassars.
Don’t cry over spilled milk — Ain’t no point in shooting the milk cow.
Avoid it like the plague — If you can’t ride it or drive it, don’t go.
Dead as a doornail — Shouldn’t have had that last shot of tequila.
Take the tiger by the tail — Don’t go grabbin’ a mean mule by the tail.
Low hanging fruit — Don’t let a muddy stockdog into the house.
If only walls could talk — Good thing ol’ Blaze don’t speak English.
The pot calling the kettle black — Ain’t no point in washin’ the coffeepot.
Think outside the box — Try a new brand of chew.
Thick as thieves — Bronc busters unanimous.
But at the end of the day — When the gather’s done.
Plenty of fish in the sea — You can never kill every leafy spurge plant.
Every dog has its day — Buying a new goin’-to-town shirt.
Like a kid in a candy store — Visiting the saddle maker’s shop.
Selling like hotcakes — A good market year.
Let her hair down — The milk cow sulls up.
Every cloud has a silver lining — Got bucked off; nothin’ got broke.
When it rains, it pours — Three days of slicker weather.
Go climb a tree — Go rope a bear.
Dressed to kill — Wearing goin’-to-town clothes and new boots to attend the Swamp Creek dance.
Don’t judge a book by its cover — Test ride a new horse before buying.
Thick as thieves — Thick as burdock, cheat grass and knapweed.❖
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