The fan's guide to rodeo terminology

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's hard to believe, but it's rodeo time again in Cherokee, with the three 7:30 p.m. rodeo performances on tap for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Saturday is chock full of rodeo goodies, like the big Rodeo Parade at 4 p.m. and the sublime Western BBQ at the Cherokee Depot starting at 11 a.m.

As a special feature for those who may be unfamiliar with rodeos, here are a few informative tidbits about basic rodeo terminology.

*Rodeo - Webster gives the first pronunciation as ro' de o, and the second as ro de' o. So, you should really used the preferred pronunciation unless you're the kind who'll be watching the rodeo through rhinestone opera glasses while sipping a sherry saying, "My, thith ith nothing like the Derby."

*Bronco - A wild or partially tamed horse or pony; or, the plural form of bronchitis, an inflammation of the windpipe.

*Brahma Bull - A breed of domestic cattle developed from the zebu of India and having a large hump over the shoulders; or, a form of idle and exaggerated conversation from Mr. Brahma.

*Calf - A young cow or bull; or, the fleshy part of the leg below the knee of cowgirls, depending upon the real reason you might go to a rodeo.

*Steer - A castrated male of the cattle family; or, what you might do upon seeing a cowgirl with nice calves.

*Bareback - A bucking horse with no saddle; or, what befalls a cowboy who lost his shirt playing chutes and ladders.

*Chaps - From the word "chaperejos" meaning heavy leather trousers or leggings worn by cowboys for protection or decor; or, what a cowboy's lip might do after a rough day or riding in the wind and dust.

*String Tie - A narrow neck tie usually tied in a bow; or, a child's exclamation after his first successful effort at securing his shoe laces.

*Cowboy Boot - Leather protective footwear; or, what they call it when a bouncer dismisses a rowdy cowboy from the bar.

*Chute - A narrow, fenced-in passageway for rodeo stock; or, what a pious cowboy might say after being thrown from his mount.

*Dismount - The act of getting off a horse; or, what an inner-city cowboy might say when asked what he's going to ride on.

*Stirrup - A ring with a flat bottom hung by a strap from a saddle and used as a footrest in mounting and riding; or, the sound made by a cowboy with indigestion.

*Bridle - A head harness for guiding a horse; or, the marriage partner of the groomel.

*Fair Grounds - Where the Cherokee PRCA Rodeo will be held; or, the makings for so-so coffee.

Now you're ready! See you at the rodeo!