the wild and woolly West

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the wild and woolly West

The western United States of America as typified during the period of American expansion in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This old-timey saloon aims to recreate the authentic atmosphere and aesthetics of the wild and woolly West. This part of the country truly remains the wild and woolly West—dirty, dangerous, and almost completely outside the purview of the law.
See also: and, west, wild, woolly
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

wild and woolly (West), the

The untamed, wide open western United States. The term dates from the late nineteenth century, popularized by a book title, Adair Welcker’s Tales of the “Wild and WoollyWest” (1891). A publisher’s note on the book said “wild and woolly” referred to the rough sheepskin coats worn by cowboys and farmers, but Franklin P. Adams said “wild, woolly and full of flies” was a cowboy’s expression for a genuine cowboy. Owen Wister’s The Virginian (1902) stated, “I’m wild, and woolly and full of fleas,” which was later picked up in the cowboy ditty, “Pecos Bill and the Wilful Coyote” (ca. 1932) by W. C. White: “Oh, I’m wild and woolly and full of fleas, Ain’t never been curried below the knees.”
See also: and, wild, woolly
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer