Entertainment Magazine: Tucson: Tucson Rodeo

How to Speak "Rodeo"

As with most specialized sports and professions, rodeo has its own lingo (terms and phrases that have a definition unique to rodeo. The following list will provide some insight into the vernacular of rodeo and aid in the understanding of the sport.

Tucson RodeoAverage is the aggregate or total score for each contestant at a rodeo with more than one go-round

Barrier is a rope stretched across the front end of the box from which the roper's or steer wrestler's horse emerges. The barrier drops when the calf or steer achieves a predetermined head start.

Biting the Dust means being thrown from a horse or a bull.

Buckaroo is a cowboy who does ranch work for a living. In contrast, a professional rodeo cowboy's occupation is rodeo competition.

Bull-Dogger is the slang term for a steer wrestler.

Champion is the winner of the most money at any rodeo event.

Crow Hops are mild bucking motions.

Flagman is the rodeo official who signals the end of time elapsed in timed events.

Go-round is a round of rodeo competition. A rodeo in which each contestant competes once has one go-round.

Hang-up is when a bull rider falls off the bull opposite his riding hand which becomes stuck or "hung-up" in his bull rope.

Hazer is a cowboy who rides along beside a steer on the opposite side of the steer wrestler. His job is to keep the steer running in a straight line and close to the contestant's horse.

High Roller is a horse that leaps high into the air when bucking.

Hog is an expression bull-riders use to describe a large, unagile bull that is not considered a good draw.

Hooey is a half-hitch knot used to tie a calf's legs together in calf roping.

Pick-up Man is a mounted cowboy who helps bareback and saddle bronc riders off when the ride is completed and leads the horse out of the arena.

Pulling Leather is when a bronc rider holds on to any part of the saddle, he is said to be "pulling leather." This disqualifies a saddle bronc rider if it is done before the eight-second ride is completed.

Rowel is a small wheel with radiating points that form the extremity of a cowboy's spur. In rodeo, rowels are required to be free-wheeling and blunt.

Seeing Daylight is when the rider leaves the seat on a bucking horse.

Tenderfoot is what you are if you did not know the meaning of these words.

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Author: Paul L Grimes. Published by Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee (January 1, 1991)

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