Word for the Day
The cowboy’s ancestors are the vaqueros (from the Spanish vaca, “cow”), originally Indians attached to the old Spanish missions and employed by them to handle their beef herds. The cowboys roped steers with a loop of braided rawhide rope known as la reata–a lariat. They wore chaparreras, leather trousers designed to protect their legs from brush and chaparral; later, American cowboys wore chaps. The word vaquero found its American counterpart in a synonym for cowboy.