National Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day
January 24th is observed annually as National Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day. Yes, it’s an entire day dedicated to talking like an “old-timey” prospector searching for gold in ‘dem hills! This is a good day to use words such as “dadburn,” “hornswoggle,” “consarn,” and “dumfungled.”
Just be sure not to confuse talking like a prospector with talking like a pirate or a cowboy. The speech patterns and vocabulary of cowboys, pirates, and prospectors are all distinct. And while a person is talking like a 19th-century miner, it’s also a good idea to dress up like one as well.
The History of National Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day
During the mid-19th century, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill, which would end up sparking the California Gold Rush. Thousands of people from across North America poured into California to try their luck at finding gold.
Because these people came from various places and many of them spoke their native languages, it could sometimes be hard to understand what these prospectors were saying. It’s the idea of a “prospector’s tongue” that came into existence at this time.
What’s missing in most conversations about the California Gold Rush is that many miners ended up working for wealthy statesmen and organizations as mines were constructed. These miners often had to work long hours under extreme conditions. And many of their lives were shortened due to respiratory diseases and accidents.
In 2008, Chris Jepsen of Orange County wanted to draw attention to what these miners had to endure. This is when he decided to create National Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day. Sure, this day is for people to have fun talking like an “old-timer,” but it’s also a holiday for people to learn a little bit more about these miners and what they contributed to the U.S.
Some Of The Foods Enjoyed By Grizzled Prospectors
To keep with the theme of this holiday, we thought we’d take a few moments to list some of the foods that many prospectors enjoyed while they were searching those hills for gold. Let’s look at ’em, shall we, folks?
- Squaw Honey (a syrup made by boiling clovers and other flowers)
- Hangtown Fry (an omelet made from bacon and oysters)
- Moose Pie (yes, it’s made with moose steak or ground moose meat)
- Salmon Stew
- Hard Tack
- Dried Apples
Observing National Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day
On this day, people should certainly talk like a prospector and even dress up like one if they wish, but they should also take the time to learn more about prospectors and what they had to endure. People should also spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #TalkLikeAGrizzledProspectorDay on social media.