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1. A young man who loiters in public places, such as on street corners or outside of drugstores, especially in the attempt to impress or woo young women. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. I hate going through this area, there's always a few drugstore cowboys cat-calling me when I pass by.
2. A person who dresses and acts like a cowboy but who has never worked as one and has none of a cowboy's skills or experience. Originally a reference to extras in Hollywood western films (who would remain in costume off set), it later extended to anyone who wears cowboy clothing purely for the purposes of style or affectation. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. The senator accused his challenger of being a drugstore cowboy—a city slicker who had no idea what it meant to live or work in the rural countryside.
3. One who sells, steals, and/or gets high on prescription or over-the-counter medications. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Police apprehended a drugstore cowboy who held up a local pharmacy and made off with loads of prescription medication.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
n. a male who hangs around drugstores and other public places trying to impress women. You don’t see the old drugstore cowboys around this part of town anymore.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A derisive phrase for a fashionably dressed man who loitered around public places trying to pick up women. The phrase, which may have originated with movie cowboys who wore their costumes when they broke for lunch, brings to mind the fashion plate's inability to ride anything more challenging than a drugstore counter stool.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price