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  1. #1
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    Question Does anyone know the history of the term 'owlhoot?'

    Coming from Colorado, I frequently heard various outlaws [including politicians!] referred to as 'owlhoots.'
    When I tried to look up the origin of the use of owlhoots to denote outlaws, all I could find was 'the hoot of an owl.' I KNOW that that is NOT the way the term was used when I was growing up.
    I thought the term might have come about because both outlaws and owls were inclined to go out by night in order to search for 'prey' - but I have been able to find absolutely NOTHING official that would confirm that suspected definition and/or history of the term.
    What source would be the most likely to have some history of the development of this term?
    Sincerely, Celestina

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Does anyone know the history of the term 'owlhoot?'

    I haven't been able to find it in any dictionary,l so it might be a regionalism based on some event- maybe some outlaws used owlhoots to notify each other that it was time to strike.

  3. #3
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    Re: Does anyone know the history of the term 'owlhoot?'

    Thank you - if the term is regional - I wonder if a local Colorado history museum might have some kind of information about the rise of the term.
    Something else I was wondering was whether or not the term had been coined in some Western movie or other - Western movies and/or TV shows are STILL very popular in this region.
    The City of Dodge City, Kansas, just had a special 50th anniversary celebration for the long-running Western series GUNSMOKE, and one of the 'little known facts' that came out was that the phrase 'Get out of Dodge' was specifically coined during an EARLY episode of that series - as far back as RADIO days!
    Sort of like 'meathead' gained national recognition as a term to denote someone who was 'dead from the neck up' because of the constant references by ARCHIE BUNKER to the term during ALL IN THE FAMILY.
    AT any rate - thanks for the input - Sincerely, Celestina

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Does anyone know the history of the term 'owlhoot?'

    You might be able to find some help here: http://www.evolpub.com/Americandialects/AmDialLnx.html

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