The term cowboy has been used throughout American history for decades. In reality, the word cowboy comes from Spain, tracing its roots to the Spanish word vanquero. There are different words that have stemmed from the word cowboy, usually meaning the same thing, some of these variations include cowpoke, buckaroo, cowpuncher commonly used in Texas, and cowhand. The true definition of a cowboy is deemed to be a cattle herder who tends to their cattle while on horseback. The term cowboy is used for cattle herders in the North America region, and who were often fighters of such. But, in recent times, thanks to Hollywood and the movie industry, the word cowboy has taken on a life of its very own.
The idea of a cowboy is now commonly thought of to be a man with a tough emotional exterior, or someone with a tough spirit. Someone that is a cowboy might wear a specific “cowboy” hat complete with spurs, as well as a pair of Wrangler Western jeans and Justin Boots. The word cowboy brings about an entire ideal that comes along with it thanks to media and the definition the public has idealized for it.
The word cowboy has taken on a life of its own thanks to countless movies that showed cowboys in a particular romanticized light. Actors such as Clint Eastwood and movies in the category called “spaghetti westerns” showed cowboys to be tough, masculine men who were quiet, strong, reserved and carried a gun in case anything got out of control. There were even comedic movies made around the idea of a cowboy, with one example being “City Slickers”. Cowboys now even have a certain type of clothing associated with them as well as a particular way of speech. The word cowboy has really taken on a life of its very own with its very own subculture.
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