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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Vaquero \Va*que"ro\, n. [Sp., cowherd, fr. vaca a cow, L. vacca. Cf. Vacher.] One who has charge of cattle, horses, etc.; a herdsman.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1826, from Spanish, literally "cowboy," from vaca "cow," from Latin vacca (see vaccination).


n. (context US Southwestern US English) A cowboy; a herdsman.


n. local names for a cowboy (`vaquero' is used especially in southwestern and central Texas and `buckaroo' is used especially in California) [syn: buckaroo, buckeroo]


The vaquero (, ) is a horse-mounted livestock herder of a tradition that originated on the Iberian Peninsula. Today the vaquero is still a part of the doma vaquera, the Spanish tradition of working riding. The vaquero traditions developed in Mexico from methodology brought to Mesoamerica from Spain also became the foundation for the North American cowboy.The vaqueros of the Americas were the horsemen and cattle herders of Spanish Mexico, who first came to California with the Jesuit priest Eusebio Kino in 1687, and later with expeditions in 1769 and the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition in 1774. They were the first cowboys in the region.

In the modern United States and Canada, remnants of two major and distinct vaquero traditions remain, known today as the " Texas" tradition and the " Spanish", "Vaquero", or " California" tradition. The popular " horse whisperer" style of natural horsemanship was originally developed by practitioners who were predominantly from California and the Northwestern states, clearly combining the attitudes and philosophy of the California vaquero with the equipment and outward look of the Texas cowboy. The natural horsemanship movement openly acknowledges much influence of the vaquero tradition.

The cowboys of the Great Basin still use the term " buckaroo", which may be a corruption of vaquero, to describe themselves and their tradition.

Vaquero (band)

Vaquero is a Mexican Avanzada Regia rock band from Monterrey. It was created by Chetes and Mauricio Terracina, after their previous band, Zurdok, broke up.

Vaquero (disambiguation)

A Vaquero is a Spanish or Mexican rider noted for equestrian skill and ability to handle cattle.

The term may also refer to:

Usage examples of "vaquero".

They went up into the mountains a week later with the mozo and two of the vaqueros and after the vaqueros had turned in in their blankets he and Rawlins sat by the fire on the rim of the mesa drinking coffee.

In conducting this work, Uncle Lance was the leader, and with the white element already enumerated, there were twelve to fifteen vaqueros included in the branding outfit.

Only the year before at branding, when an infuriated bull had driven every vaquero out of the corrals, did not Enrique mount his horse, and, after baiting the bull out into the open, play with him like a kitten with a mouse?

Out on the plain in the shoreless night they could see like a reflection of their own fire in a dark lake the fire of the vaqueros five miles away.

For while Anglo cowhands preferred to fall clear of a cart-wheeling pony when things went wrong, the Mexican vaquero was inclined to be more fatalistic about the possible future, and preferred his ass comfortable in the here and now.

I rubbed shoulders with priests and nuns, whores and dons, vaqueros and indios, spurred ones and lowly half-castes, rugged soldados and perfumed dandies.

To the question if he was in the ranch at present, fortune favored me, as Fidel and nearly all the regular vaqueros were cutting timbers in the encinal that day with which to build new corrals at one of the outlying tanks.

Apaches Tejuas, Apaches Vaqueros, Apaches Faraones, Apaches Llaneros, Apaches Lipanes, and a host of others, of whom the Spanish missionaries and colonists had little or no knowledge except that derived, alas, from predatory raids on the peaceable Indians among whom they were established.

Longarm saw that he was throwing an underhanded catch loop called the mangana that had been adopted from the Mexican vaqueros and was so difficult to throw correctly that it marked an expert roper.

The old man led the way into the tangle like a young vaquero after an old mossyhorn steer.

Indio, mestizo, and africano vaqueros wore spurs as well, but they favored working rowels of honed iron.

The grasslands lay in a deep violet haze and to the west thin flights of waterfowl were moving north before the sunset in the deep red galleries under the cloudbanks like schoolfish in a burning sea and on the foreland plain they saw vaqueros driving cattle before them through a gauze of golden dust.

On the third day the vaqueros brought a small herd of wild three year old colts down from the mesa and penned them and in the evening Rawlins and John Grady walked out to look them over.

The two vaqueros tilted their sombreros and looked about with the confidence of men who know their strength and for whom they ride.

A short spell later, four of her vaqueros herded what she called her eight best ponies around a corner through the wild mustard and green tumbleweed.