Life on a farm is more than just growing and harvesting crops or feeding fodder to livestock. A wide variety of slang words, phrases and idioms are used to describe people and specific situations. In this quiz, we'll take a look at 35 different words and phrases that have been popular throughout many years of farm life.
Let's take a look at two of these idioms. For example, do you know what it means to "get one's goat?" It actually has nothing to do with goats themselves. Rather, it means to make someone upset or irritated. An example of a sentence with this phrase would be "I can't stand talking to him anymore, he's just been getting my goat lately!"
Another example of a common farm phrase is "put out to pasture." This means that a farmer must retire from their line of work due to their old age. An example sentence would be "My aging father wanted to keep working, but the boss put him out to pasture and hired a young developer instead."
If you think you're an expert on farm slang words and phrases, than we challenge you to score at least a 70% on this farm slang quiz! Show us what you can do right now!
A cash crop is when a farmer sells fruits, vegetables and grains off of the premises of the farm. For example, "I earned lots of money from all the cash crops that I sold over the past week!"
An out-of-reach or far afield land is also known as "The Back 40." For instance, "Tomorrow, I have to go out to the back 40 to collect some wood."
Farmers wear large shoes when doing farm work so they can protect their socks and feet from things like wet soil and manure. These are known as clodhoppers, which also make quite a bit of noise when you walk in them!
You won't catch a farmer without wearing some britches (or jeans) on a farm. Here's an example sentence, "Hey buddy, have you seen my britches? I've got some farm work to do!"
Meat that is hung to age is referred to as "well hung." For example, "Once I clean out these pigs, they'll be well hung in this room over here."
A jimmy-job involves fixing something in an unconventional way. For example, "My dad has taught me how to jimmy-job a bunch of home repairs."
Top dressing is the layer of fertilizer that farmers put on top of soil to help plants grow. For example, "I can't find the top dressing to put on this soil, have you seen it?"
"Hard row to hoe" means that a task or job is difficult in nature. For example, "Trying to get this machine to work is a hard row to hoe."
Varmints are wild animals that may eat or destroy farmer's crops. Examples includes rodents, crows, foxes and wild boars. Here's an example sentence, "Where did all of my crops go? Those varmint must have eaten them again!"
Slash-and-burn is when trees are cut and burned down to make room for new crops to grow. For example, "Here's the area of trees that we need to slash-and-burn."
A smallholding is simply a very tiny farm that farmers live on. For example, "I think I'm going to move into a smallholding since I"m getting too old to look after my big farm."
Holding is a phrase that is used to describe ownership of a piece of farm land. The land can be either purchased or rented by the tenant as well.
Farmers actually call their cows "boss," because the old Latin word for "cow" is "bos." Farmers may also signal their cows to move by saying, "Come here Bossie!"
Another name for brown cows is brown swiss. For example, "We're going to need some brown swiss on this farm if we're going to produce high-quality dairy products."
Subsistence farming is when a farmer uses their livestock and crops to live off of. There is typically not enough leftover to sell for money or for profit.
Mixed farming is when crops and animals are grown and raised on the same farm. For example, "If I were to be a farmer, I would utilize mixed farming since I love vegetables and animals."
Arable farming is when a farmer focuses on raising crops (like fruits, vegetables and grains) over animals. For example, "I prefer doing arable farming since it's easier to maintain."
Another word for "corn" is "maize." Maize also refers to a type of plant that is used to feed livestock. For example, "I'm going to need some more maize if I'm going to feed all of these animals."
A cattleman is simply someone who helps to raise cattle. For example, "I'm getting too old to raise cattle myself, I need to hire a cattleman to help me out on this farm."
Commercial farming is when a farmer raises livestock and crops for the use of sales (aka profit). This type of farming also utilizes large fields of land and heavy machinery.
Rice is grown in a paddy field, which is a very wet or flooded type of field. For example, "I'm having a tough time growing rice in my paddy field this year because of how hot and dry the climate has been!"
Pastoral farming is when a farmer primarily focuses on raising livestock for food. These types of farmers don't really raise crops either. For example, "I think I'm going to switch gears by transitioning into pastoral farming this year."
In the context of farm life, "cereal" actually refers to crops that they grow, such as barley or wheat. For instance, "I'm going out to harvest some cereal today."
With regards to farm life, a yard is where old machines are stored. For example, "I'm going out to the yard to get that machine workin'."
A poacher is someone who steals animals from farmers. For example, "One of my pigs is missing; a poacher must have taken it."
With regards to machinery, "PTO" stands for "power take-off." It's used to transfer power to various types of machines.
A cab does not mean a taxi with regards to farm life; it's the place where farmers sit in a tractor. For example, "I left my wallet in the cab, can you go get it?"
A large farm is also called an estate. For example, "My wealthy grandfather owns a large estate in the rural acres of Wisconsin."
A peach orchard is a group of peach trees on a piece of farm land. For example, "I think I'm going to start a peach orchard to sell some peaches for extra money."
As the name implies, apple cider is made from a cider mill. The juice is removed from apples to create that sweet and slightly tangy apple cider that we're all familiar with.
Corn kernels that taste sweet are simply called sweet corn. This is also used to describe the young age of the corn. For example, "I'm going to use some sweet corn to make a delicious side dish for dinner."
Yield mapping is when a farmer uses GPS data to look at positive and negative trends of their farm, such as the quality of the crops being grown. This can also help a farmer notice certain problems in their crops.
Fish farming is the process of breeding fish, which can be used for profit or as food for the farmer. For example, "I'm going to be transitioning into fish farming starting next year."
Hydroponics is a method that is used to grow plants in water instead of soil. For example, "I'm going to study the nutritional value of plants through the method of hydroponics."
Another word for a house is a home, which means that the answer is homestead. A homestead is a fancy word for a farm, which also includes all of the animals and buildings.