Recent entries:
“Call them ‘Armadillos’ because the team gets killed on the road” (9/28)
Spine of Texas (Interstate 35) (8/26)
Lone Star Tick (8/20)
“Trust your neighbor, but brand your cattle” (8/8)
Texas Chicken (ship-passing maneuver) (6/30)
More new entries...

Entry from February 12, 2008
Skunk Egg (onion)

"Skunk eggs” were what cowboys called onions. The term “skunk egg” appears in many collections of cowboy lingo after 1950, but pre-1950 citations are rare.


10 May 1943, Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, pg. 5, col. 1:
Onions (skunk eggs, as Mr. Ford calls ‘em) will be ready to harvest soon.

Roundup Recipes
by Bonnie & Ed Peplow
with the help of the Arizona Cowbelles
Cleveland, OH: The World Publishing Company
1951
Pg. 270 (Glossary):
SKUNK EGGS: Onions.

14 September 1952, New York (NY) Times, pg. BR10:
(Book review of Come an’ Get It: The Story of the Old Cowboy Cook by Ramon F. Adams—ed.)
It was all meat; the only vegetable ever admitted to a sonofagun was an occasional onion which the cowboy called a “skunk egg.”

Google Books
Dictionary of American Slang
by Harold Wentworth and Stuart Berg Flexner
2nd supplemented edition
New York, NY: Crowell
1975
Pg. 483:
skunk egg
An onion, still some Western and Southern rural dial. use.

Google Books
The Dictionary of American Food and Drink
by John F. Mariani
New Haven, CT: Ticknor & Fields
1983
Pg. 368:
skunk egg. Cowboy term for an onion.

Google Books
The Cowboy Encyclopedia
by Richard W. Slatta
W. W. Norton & Company
1994
Pg. 354:
SKUNK EGGS
Descriptive colloquialism for onions.

Google Books
Webster’s New World Dictionary of Culinary Arts
by Steven Labensky, Gaye G. Ingram, and Sarah R. Labensky
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
1997
Pg. 424:
skunk egg Cowboy slang for an onion.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, February 12, 2008 • Permalink