The other day I was writing an article about food and a phrase from my childhood popped into my brain.

We always said the phrase with a sort of a wink, like we all knew it was a special word that only got pulled out every now and then. If I didn't like the food I was eating, like creamed corn, my dad would use the phrase to tease me. He also used the phrase to encourage the family dog to eat.

Read More: Montana Food 

My grandpa and grandma would use the phrase as a way to hype us up, to make us think that what we were about to eat was going to be good.

The phrase was: tasty vittles.

When I looked up the word the other day to see how it was spelled I came across something I didn't know. Check out the word's definition:

Vittles:supplies of food: victuals. now chiefly used playfully to evoke the supposed language of cowboys.  - Merriam Webster

The supposed language of cowboys? It makes me wonder if this is a chicken or egg thing. Were cowboys, like my grandpa, using this word, and then it became known as a 'cowboy word,' or was it a word that people used when they were pretending to be a cowboy and the cowboys eventually picked it up?

A little Googling shows it's not just cowboys, but people from the South and other groups who tend to use this word. And the word comes from Middle English by way of the French, according to

Related: Real Montanans Know What This Phrase Means

My Montana family members are the only ones I've ever heard use the word. I'd like to do a little poll. Answer the question below and let me know what your familiarity is with the word "vittles."


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