7 To be “indebted” to a person is to owe them something for having done a great service.
Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, but it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age. “Authentic” means genuine or real. “Frontier” refers to recently settled areas of the country where there are not yet cities. “Gibberish” is a good word to describe other words that are nonsensical or have no meaning.
Our fathers came across the prairie, fought Indians, fought drought, fought locusts, fought Dix.
The “prairie” refers to open and flat land with no cities. “Drought” is a long period of dry weather when there is no rain, and locusts are insects that attack food crops in flying groups (swarms) that number millions at a time.
Here, “Dix” is just a proper name.
We didn’t give up then, and by gum, were not going to give up now. “To give up” is a critical phrasal verb meaning to surrender, or stop trying. “By gum” is ridiculous and never used, though you might say “by god,” which is another possible way of saying “damn it.” I’m not giving up my ice cream parlor that I built with these two hands for nothing or nobody.
A local store for selling something in particular, like ice cream or pizza.
Why don’t we wire the governor to send us a sheriff? “To wire” is the verb to use when you send a telegram.
Will the congregation please rise? A “congregation” is a group of people who attend the same church.
I shall read from the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke and…….duck! The first three names are major figures in the Christian bible, but “duck!” is a way of telling someone to get down and hide on the floor.
Hedley convinces the Governor to send a black sheriff to Rock Ridge.
What the hell is it? A common addition to wh questions in order to show emotions such as anger or surprise.
Under the provisions of this bill , we would snatch 200,000 acres of Indian territory, which we have deemed unsafe for their use at this time. “Provisions” are legal conditions or details, and a “bill” is an important word for a proposed law. “To snatch” is to steal or take quickly from someone, and “deemed” is an official word for thought or decided. 8 They’ll never go for it! This is a colloquial way of saying to believe it.
The little red devils, they love toys.
A ridiculous way of referring to Native American Indians.
These things are defective.
A useful word which means broken, faulty or not functioning well.
This is the bill that will convert the state hospital for the insane into the William J.
Le Petomane memorial gambling casino for the insane.
To “convert” an object is to change it from one thing into another. “Insane” means crazy, and a “casino” is a building where people gamble, usually with games involving cards, such as poker.
This is 1874; You’ll be able to sue her. “To sue” a person is to file a legal claim against them in a court of law, usually for money.
Suing people is a popular American hobby.
This urgent telegram from Rockridge. “Urgent” means very important, and requiring immediate attention. “Sheriff murdered.
Church meeting bombed.
Reign of terror must cease.” A “reign of terror” is a period of great fear, often caused by the murderous actions of a government. “To cease” something is to stop it.
Holy underwear! Innocent women and children blown to bits! “Holy” means godly or sacred, but the expression “holy underwear” is both ridiculous and never used (although “holy shit” is used).
If a person is “blown to bits,” their bodies are torn into lots of little pieces.
We’ve got to protect our phony-baloney jobs. “Phony” means fake or not real, and “baloney” is a type of processed meat.
A silly and rare adjectival expression. “hurumph” A silly word used in this movie for expressing anger or other emotion.
You watch your ass! One way to say that you should be careful.
Gentlemen, please, rest your sphincters. “Sphincters” are the muscles in a person’s butt or ass.
A totally ridiculous way to tell a person to relax.
Well put! A good way of telling someone that what they just said was well expressed. 9 As Attorney General, I can assure you that a suitable sheriff will be found to restore the peace in Rock Ridge.
An “Attorney General” is the highest law enforcement official in the Federal or State government. “Suitable” is another word for appropriate, proper or correct. “To restore” something is to bring it back to its past condition (because it was better in the past).
Meeting is adjourned.
A very official way of saying finished, or completed.
I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to overstep my bounds. “To overstep one’s bounds” is to act in a manner that is too presumptuous or arrogant (Bounds is another word for borders).
Why don’t you give these out to some of the boys in lieu of pay? “In lieu of” is another way of saying instead of.
This frigging thing is warped. “Frigging” is a gentler adjective than fucking, for those who do not want to be so vulgar. “Warped” means bent or twisted out of shape.
Law and order is the last thing I want.
A set expression that means peace and social stability.
A sheriff that so offends the citizens of Rock Ridge that his very appearance would drive them out of town.
To “drive a person out of town” is to force them to leave.
Welcome to Hanging House; Not to worry—everyone is equal in my eyes.
A grammatically curious expression that simply means “Don’t worry.” Is it important? :: It’s very crucial.
A useful word that means extremely important or critical.
I’d be delighted.
A good word for very happy or perhaps enthusiastic.
Have you gone berserk?! Can’t you see that man is a nig….? “To go berserk” is to become crazy or insane.
No offense intended.
What you would say to a person if you’re afraid you insulted them.
Haven’t you taken a giant leap away from your good senses? A “leap” is big jump, and “good senses” refers to common sense or good judgement.
Please, don’t fly off the handle, Sir. 10 If somebody “flies off the handle,” they became explosively angry.
A cabinet post.
A reference to the top offices that assist the President of the United States, including Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense.
Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln.
Three of the most important Presidents in US history.
Sir, you have the seeds of greatness in you.
Nurse them, caress them… “To nurse” something is to help bring it back to good health. “To caress” something is to pet or stroke it gently, or lovingly.
Don’t shortchange yourself! In this context, a way of saying “Don’t underestimate what you can do.” One day is all we’ll need to secure your name in the annals of Western history! An official text of recorded history.
It could lead to a nomination, for, dare I say?….
A “nomination” is the official endorsement of a party to run for elected office. “Dare I say…?” is a poetic way of asking yourself if you have the courage to say something.
Hail to the Chief! This is the name of the song that bands play when the President of the United States arrives at an event.
Four score and seven years ago….
The first words of a famous speech by Lincoln.
A “score” is 20 years.
Gentlemen, affairs of state must take precedent over….affairs of state.
A cute play on words; “Affairs of state” refers to government business, though here it also means the sexual affairs of a person within the government. “To take precedent over” is to be more important than.
I will make all the arrangements, especially the funeral.
One way of saying to take care of all the organizational details.
Bart arrives in Rock Ridge to a less than enthusiastic welcome, and soon meets the legendary Waco Kid.
The sheriff will be here at noon! I better rehearse my speech. “To rehearse” a speech or acting role is to practice it.
As honorary chairman of the welcoming committee, it is my 11 privilege to extend to you a laurel…and a hardy handshake.
A “laurel” is a tiny tree that is given to people as a gift or honor, while “hardy” means strong or vigorous.
But note the play on words; Laurel and Hardy were a famous comedy team from the early days of film.
Strike up the band! A way of telling a band to begin to play music.
Excuse me while I whip this out! “To whip out” something is a dramatic way of simply saying to take it out, as in the act of taking a wallet out of your pocket.
By the power vested in me…….I hearby assume the duties of the office of the sheriff of the township of Rock Ridge.
Power that is “vested” in a person is officially granted to them. “Hearby” is an official way of saying therefore.
As your spiritual leader, I implore you to pay heed to this good book and what it has to say. “To implore” a person is to beg them or ask them passionately. “To heed” advice is to obey and accept it.
Son, you’re on your own.
One way of saying “There is nothing I can do for you.” Hold it men, he’s not bluffing. “Hold it” is a common way of saying stop it. “To bluff” is to pretend that you are going to do something when you really do not intend to.
Hush, Harriet! That’s a sure way to get him killed. “Hush!” is a way of telling a person to be quiet.
I said “order!” :: Nietzsche says “out of chaos, comes order.” When yelled at a meeting, “order” is a way of saying everyone should be quiet.
Nietzsche was a famous German philosopher, and “chaos” is the state of extreme confusion and disorder.
Blow it out your ass, Howard! An extremely vulgar insult, which basically means shut up or fuck you, depending on the context.
Listen to our esteemed school mom, as she reads a telegram that she herself has composed to the governor. “Esteemed” is an official word for very well respected. “To compose” a letter is another way of saying to write it.
We, the white God-fearing citizens of Rock Ridge….
For some reason, racist Americans often say that they’re afraid of God. 12 The fact that you have sent him just goes to prove that you are the leading asshole in the state.
One of the great vulgar insult words, meaning jerk, idiot, creep, etc… Are we awake? : We’re not sure; Are we black? Note the use of “the royal we,” which some people use to show a light attitude.
Then we’re awake, but were very puzzled.
Another way to say confused or perplexed.
What do you like to do? :: Play chess, screw.
A classic colloquial verb meaning to have sex.
The word that a player says after he captures the king in chess.
You devious son of a bitch. “Devious” means slightly dishonest, or crafty. “Son of a bitch” is a very common and vulgar term for a mean or abusive man.
Well, if you must pry….. “To pry” into the affairs of others is to try and learn about their personal life.
The Waco Kid; He had the fastest hands in the West.
A way that people in the old West referred to those who could shoot guns with great speed and accuracy.
Steady as a rock.
An expression that means stable, or in this case, without shaking.
You were just pulling my lariat.
A “lariat” is a lasso, or rope for controlling animals, but this word is never used. “To pull someone’s legs” means to tease, or lie to them.
When I say “go,” you try to grab it first.
A useful verb meaning to take quickly and forcefully.
Well raise my rent; You are the kid.
In this case, “raise my rent” is Bart’s ridiculous way of saying “that truly is amazing.” It got so that every piss-ant prairie punk who thought he could shoot a gun would ride into town to try out the Waco kid. “Piss-ant” is an interesting adjective meaning unimportant or small.
A “punk” is a bully or aggressive young person, and in this context, to “try out” the kid is to test him, to see if he’s really so fast with a gun. 13 Cecile B.
A famous movie producer and director in the years after World War 2.
It got pretty gritty; I started to hear the word draw in my sleep. “Gritty” means filled with tiny coarse stones, though here it is used to mean unpleasant. “To draw” a gun is to reach for it and shoot it.
I spun around.
Note the past tense of spin, meaning to turn around in a circle.
The little bastard shot me in the ass! “Bastard” is a very common and vulgar word for a mean or abusive man.
Your “ ass,” is, of course, your butt, rear end, derriere, etc… So I limped to the nearest saloon, crawled inside a whiskey bottle, and I’ve been there ever since. “To limp” is to walk unevenly or with great difficulty, a “saloon” is a bar, and “to crawl” is to move on your hands and knees, like a baby.
This is Jim’s explanation for how he started to drink so much liquor.
What’s a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic settling like this? A “dazzling urbanite” is a charismatic or fascinating city person, and a “rustic setting” is a country environment away from the big city.
Note that a great cliché is “What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?” My folks and I were part of the long wagon train heading west. “Folks” is an old word that is still used to mean both parents and people.
A “wagon train” was a series of horse-pulled wagons or vehicles that brought settlers from the Eastern states into the West.
We were bringing up the rear. “To bring up the rear” is to be the last car or wagon in a line.
Suddenly, out of the West came the entire Sioux nation.
The “Sioux” were a powerful and well known Native American tribe.
This is an old Jewish (Yiddish) word that means black.
Impressed? Always like to keep my audience riveted.
To “rivet” an audience is to keep them fascinated or mesmerized. Taggert sends Mongo to destroy the town, but Bart successfully fight back. Mongo?! Holy shit, that’s too cruel! 14 “Holy shit” is a truly interesting way to express strong emotion such as surprise or amazement.
I’ll be danged; that is a unique idea. “I’ll be danged” is an old and silly way to express surprise or interest. “Unique” is an important word meaning one of a kind.
How would you like to mutilate that new sheriff? “To mutilate” a person is a violent verb meaning to tear away parts of their body, such as their arms or legs.
It was addressed to the deputy spade.
The “deputy sheriff” is the police officer just under the sheriff.
A “spade” is both one of the four symbols used in playing cards and an old and no longer used racial insult for black people.
Once I establish myself in this hear town, deputy spade might turn out to be a groovy position. “To turn out” is an important phrasal verb meaning to become, end up or conclude (as in a story or movie). “Groovy” is dated slang word from the 1960s meaning good, excellent or more colloquially, cool.
You can’t win these people over no matter what you do. “To win over” a person is to get them to like you, or perhaps to convince them of your point of view.
I’m glad those fingers aren’t loaded. “Glad” means satisfied or happy.
Note that one “loads” a gun with bullets (but not fingers).
Catch you later.
A colloquial way of saying “see you later.” Up yours, nigger.
A vulgar and relatively uncommon way of saying “fuck you.” These are people of the land, the common clay of the new West.
One of Jim’s great lines; “The common clay of the new west” is his way of referring to the common people settling the western frontier (Clay is a type of material used to make pottery).
A “moron” is a funny insult to describe a stupid person which is similar to idiot or jerk.
Louis Pasteur has devised a new vaccine that will obliterate anthrax once and for all. “To devise” is to create or invent, and a “vaccine” is a medicine that prevents disease. “To obliterate” is to destroy, and “anthrax” is a type of disease that kills cows and other animals. 15 Hoof and mouth disease, a thing of the past.
Another animal disease ( a “hoof” is the foot of animals such as cows).
Never mind that shit, here comes Mongo! A way of telling a person to forget or not worry about what was just said.
He’s breaking up the whole town. “To break up” something can mean to destroy it, though this is rare.
Candygram for Mongo. :: Mongo like candy.
A “candygram” is a gift of candy sent by messenger.
Note the bad grammar in the second sentence, which is one of the film’s great lines.
I thought Mongo would just mash him up into little bitsy sheriff meatballs. “To mash up” something is to crush or ground it into tiny pieces. “Little bitsy” is a child’s way of saying tiny or very small.
Lamar sends Lily Von Shtupp to seduce Bart, but once again, Bart successfully fights back.
My mind is a raging torrent flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.
One of Lamar’s nonsense sentences, in this case meaning he has lots of good ideas.
A “raging torrent” is enormous amounts of falling water, while a “rivulet” is a rare word for a tiny river or stream. “To cascade” is to fall from one level to another, like water in a waterfall.
You use your tongue prettier than a $20 whore.
A “whore” is a crude word for a prostitute.
Another great but ridiculous line.
A never used insult word meaning asshole or jerk.
Elementary, cactus head.
In this context, “elementary” is a way of saying simple or easy.
A “cactus” is a common desert plant, but this expression is never used.
The beast has failed….it’s time to call in beauty.
A “beast” is a large and often dangerous animal, or a brutal or cruel person. “To call in” a person is to invite them in.
She’ll turn him into jelly.
One way of saying she’ll make him weak and unlikely to fight back (Jelly is a type of fruit topping that one puts on bread). 16 Froggie.
Children will call frogs “froggies,” and “ribbet” is the sound frogs make.
I hope this apple pie will thank you in some small way for your ingenuity and courage in defeating that terrible Mongo. “Ingenuity” is a good word for intelligence or clever thinking.
An old-fashioned but still used way of telling a person you’re grateful or appreciative for what they have done.
I’m rapidly becoming a big underground success in this town.
An “underground success” is a person who has become successful despite the fact that the general public is not aware that this is the case.
Lili Von Shtupp: The Teutonic Titwillow. “Teutonic” is an official word for German, and a “titwillow” is a nonsense word (though tit is a crude slang term for female breasts and a willow is a type of small tree).
I can’t find the words to express my joy at the rekindling of our association. “To rekindle” a relationship is to start it up again, or literally to get flames to rise from a dying fire.
Bullshit; What’s the job? A vulgar but classic word to refer to nonsense, lies, half-truths, etc….
I love it when you talk dirty.
This is usually a reference to the language spoken by two people having sex (“fuck me, baby”, etc… is often referred to as “pillow talk”).
Let’s get down to the brass tacks.
An old expression meaning to talk about the actual details of a plan.
I want you to seduce and abandon the sheriff of Rock Ridge. “To seduce” a person is to sexually or romantically attract them. “To abandon” a person is to leave them, especially if they need you.
Is Bismarck a herring? :: Oh Lily, you’re magnificent.
A “herring” is a type of small fish that is popular in German and Jewish cuisine (and Bismarck is a famous brand of herring). “Magnificent” is another way to say fabulous, great or excellent.
The gal you’ve all been waiting for, the Bavarian bombshell herself….
A “gal” is a girl or woman.
A “Bavarian bombshell” is a slangy way of describing a sexy woman from Bavaria, which is a part of Germany.
Let’s hear it for Lily Von Schtupp!
Read more about You were just pulling my lariat: