It’s easy to become enamored with the cowboy era. Post-1865, following the American Civil War, the west became a romanticized frontier, home to outlaws, bootleggers, opportunists, and of course, cowboys, long drive cattle rangers who were known for their guts and grit. The unique names that come from the cowboy period make great baby names that hearken back to this remarkable era.
The long drive cattle rangers trace their roots to the Mexican Vaquero tradition, but the cowboy legacy is so much more than that. There were the Black cowboys, emancipated enslaved people who found new opportunities out on the range. “Right after the Civil War, being a cowboy was one of the few jobs open to men of color who wanted to not serve as elevator operators or delivery boys or other similar occupations,” says William Loren Katz, a scholar of African-American history in Smithsonian magazine. There were also cowgirls, Annie Oakley most famous among them. These tough women rode side-by-side rough riders and helped change the landscape of the West forever.
It wasn’t a perfect world. Life as a cowboy was hard, it required enormous strength and by most accounts, an indomitable stubborn spirit. But some of the attributes of the long-gone cowboys might inspire you today, which is why these names are worth considering for your baby.
So pony up to this list and rope your favorite name for a title that would make the cowboys of yore proud.
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