YOU MAY BE a lumberjack, and that’s okay. But right now we’re talking not about the Monty Python sort, those lumberjacks who skip and jump, and who like to press wild flowers, and other things we won’t go into. This is about the “grease burners” and “wood butchers” that inhabit the hard world of hardwoods.
So here from The American Thesaurus of Slang is this week’s installment of Talk Like A _____: a few hundred words on the way a lumberjack talks when he’s talking about other lumberjacks.
Brush rat or brush ape, bush-whacker, jack, lumberer, lumber rustler, lumber stiff, Paul, Paul Bunyan’s boy, rosin-belly, rosum-belly, savage, sawdust eater, sawdust savage, timber beast or wolf, timberjack, woodhead, wood tick. Ball hooter (one who rolls logs down hillsides); boob, jim-crow man, pole cat, tie peeler or whacker (a tie cutter); faller, feller, slasher (a chopper); high climber or rigger, limber (a tree trimmer); chokerman, choker setter (the one who fastens the chokers on the logs); rigging slinger (the one who hooks the chokers to the main line); boom man, boom rat, buckeroo, bucko, log jockey, river driver, river pig or hog, slough pig (one who rafts logs in a boom); white water bucko, (a good “boom rat”); didapper, pond monkey, webfoot (a mill pond “boom rat”); mud hen, swamp angel, a swamp worker); swamper (a swamp worker, also one who makes roads for skidding logs); road monkey (one who inspects and repairs logging roads); dirt dobber (a railroad grade cutter); gandy dancer, sniper (a section man); B.B., (bridge) monkey (a bridge builder); (timber) cruiser, tree looker (a lumber estimator); stump detective (one who estimates the waste in stumps and tree tops); (old) hard-eye, (old) squint-eye (a saw filer); punk, whistle punk (the man or boy who pulls the whistle signal); bear fighter (a sawmill worker who separates the trimmings from the lumber); bucker (one who bucks trees into log lengths); bell man (the man in charge of the high line); chaser (one who unhooks logs from the yarder line and fastens on the swing line); flat-head (the sawyer in a saw mill); ground hog (a logger who works on the ground); pack rat (a lumber carrier); sewer hog (a ditch digger); shanty boy, shantyman (a logger who lives in a shanty); shanty queen (the wife of a “shanty-man”); shingle weaver (a shingle shaver in a single mill); sky hooker (a top loader, or man who arranges the logs on top of a load); camp inspector (a vagrant logger); gypo, gyppo (a piece worker); jumper, jumper toter (a laborer who rides on a company ticket and leaves the train before reaching the job for which he was hired).