The Real Cowboy (2)


The gunfighter was often a criminal himself, or sometimes worked as both a lawman (police) and an outlaw !  There was a very grey area between good and bad, even for famous  "cowboys" like Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. ("The kid" was often a nickname of a young outlaw).

The western areas of the US were quite wild places in those days, and it was difficult to enforce the law.

"Lynching", in which town people hanged a suspected crimimal by themselves, without a law officer, was quite common.

As for the cowboys themselves, unlike in the movies, they were often not blue-eyed white men, but Mexicas, blacks, native Americans or a mix of several races.

When they shot someone they might well kill him by shooting from the back, suddenly, rather than by the face-to-face duel we see in movies using the "quick draw" of the pistol.

From perhaps the 1930s to the 1950s there was a boom in America of the "singing cowboy", often a Western movie star who played a guitar and sang lonesome ballads of the open prairie...

And a final note: that cowboy hat (Stetson) ?  It was not often worn by real cowboys.  They favored sombreros, wide-brim ranch hats or even derbys...                  (G.K)

英会話表現&英単語 その74
criminal                   犯罪者
outlaw                     無法者
grey area between good and bad    善悪の判然としないグレイゾーン
in those days              当時は
enforce the law            法律を施行する
suspected criminal         疑わしい犯罪者
As for the cowboys themselves     カウボーイ自身についても
unlike in the movies       映画の中とは違って
face-to-face duel          一対一の決闘
quick draw of the pistol   拳銃の早や抜き
lonesome ballads           もの悲しいパラード
Stetson                    「商標」幅広のフェルト帽
wide-brim                  つばの広い

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