This is dedicated to those who are new to the Rendezvous and new to the pre-1840 vocabulary
Bushway or Booshway – From the French word “bourgeois”. This was a company man who supervised the independent trappers who were forced to work for a fur trapping company. At modern day rendezvous the “Booshway” is the man or couple in charge of the rendezvous.
Beaver Plew – A beaver pelt. From the French word “plus”. The Hudson Bay Company used to mark each beaver pelt with a “+” in their accounting ledgers.
Bug’s Boys -Blackfoot Warriors
Flatlander – A term of contempt for someone that was green or new to the mountains.
Foofuraw – Trinkets, trade goods, doodads. These were used as gifts to Indian Wives or as presents to Indian Tribes they might run into. It was important to remain on good terms with the local tribes.
Gone Under – One who has died or was killed.
Greenhorns – A term used to describe the inexperienced newcomer to the mountains.
Hawk – A tomahawk.
Hawkin – A rifle. One of the most valued rifles in the mountains was the flintlock model made by the Hawken Brothers
Ol’ Ephraim – Also “Bar” “Grizzly” A grizzly bear.
Pemmican – An Indian word for pounded, dried meat combined with dried berries or currants, mixed with melted fat and stored in cakes. It could be eaten as it was or turned into a rich soup by adding water and heating it over a fire.
Possibles – A small but highly important collection of valuables the trapper kept by his side in his shooting pouch. Losing these items could be the difference between life and death for the trapper!
Segundo – A booshway in waiting. Will shadow a booshway to learn how to run a rendezvous and then in the following year, become the booshway.
Shinin Times -A good and memorable experience, prime trapping, something special.
Top Hats – For more information on Beaver Top Hats got to:
Voyageur – A Boatman, usually French-Canadian. Voyageurs did the hard pulling to get a keelboat upriver. They were thought to be cowards and held in contempt by the free trappers.
So there you have a sample of a few words you’ll hear at a Rendezvous. Just remember, it is better to be a Flatlander than to have Gone Under, but if ya don’t have yer Hawk or yer Possibles during the Shinin Times, a Voyageur might come along, steal yer Hawken, sell it to another Greenhorn and you’ll end up aworkin fer the Booshway !!!