What’s That You Say? Rodeo Jargon Explained


By Julie Johansen

If you are at a rodeo, the announcer may make you think you are listening to a foreign language with some colloquialisms he may use.

If you hear him say, “It is now time for some Nanny Knitting,” do you know that it is about time for the goat tying competition? Or how about the phrase “laundry on the ground?” Which only means that there will be a penalty added to the score of the roper that left the roping box a little too soon or that the bronc rider didn’t have his heels placed above the shoulders of the horse on the first jump out of the chute. You may hear the phrase “rescue rangers” who save a cowboy. Of course, that refers to the pick-up men.

If a rider “goose egged” that just means that he didn’t get a score. The announcer may say that the rider is “tougher than a $2 steak” or “there is ice in his veins,” which are both compliments to the competitor.

A team roper may “panty hose” a steer which is perfectly legal but to “leg-up” brings a 5 second penalty to the team. “To flank and tie” is exactly what a tie down roper or goat tier wants to do as fast as possible.

A “spoiler” is just that: someone who will ruin your fast time by being faster. A “bull dogger” is really a steer wrestler who hopes his mount doesn’t “fly by” too fast for him to dismount, grab the steer’s horn and thrown him down to the ground.

Near the end of the event, the announcer may confuse you a little with ”and then there was one”, meaning only one left to compete. But what are aggregate points or scrambled eggs?


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