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Odd Wisconsin Archive

Terms of Endearment

Dirty Dan, Eight-day Bill, Ham-bone Smith, Moonlight Bob, Prune-Juice Doyle, Smutty John, Squeaky George, The Cleaver, The Pope, and Three-fingered Ole -- these are just some of the names used by lumberjacks around Rhinelander 100 years ago. Doesn't that last one make you wonder?

Some were given to loggers by their peers and others were adopted on purpose by lumberjacks trying to hide in the north woods from family or the law. You can see more lumberjack nicknames in our Dictionary of Wisconsin History, which has recently been augmented by historical glossaries of terms used in farming, mining, logging, architecture, railroading and Great Lakes shipping.

We hope this will make it easy for you, when reading about your past, to understand odd and archaic words. What was a rabbet, a gandy dancer, a hip roof, a dewlap, or a gad? Now you can immediately find out, at

:: Posted in Curiosities on January 11, 2006

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