Not being a native of the North American states, this scene whilst being hilarious has always bothered me as to what Gabby Johnson was really saying.

One person has attempted to quote him:

No sayer-waining, bush-whackin', horn swogglin', cracker croaker is gonna row away Christmas cutter

IMDB has the quote as:

I wash born here, an I wash raished here, and dad gum it, I am gonna die here, an no sidewindin' bushwackin', hornswagglin' cracker croaker is gonna rouin me bishen cutter

Firstly which one is correct? It appears that IMDB is closer to what is actually said. Secondly what do each of these terms mean?

  • 2
    In the context of movies and TV, the joke is that it is mostly unintelligible--hence the punchline "who can argue with that?". The only way to answer this is to have a copy of the script (which may very well state "unintelligble gibberish" :)
    – DA.
    Feb 2, 2015 at 20:13
  • @DA. perhaps but bush-whackin is a common term so it must have a meaning, I was hoping for some explanation of of these terms
    – EdChum
    Feb 2, 2015 at 20:32
  • in that case, this question likely should be migrated to English.se
    – DA.
    Feb 2, 2015 at 20:59
  • 1
    @DA. I have no doubt that English.SE may be a good or even better venue for this question - but it remains on topic here.
    – iandotkelly
    Feb 2, 2015 at 21:49
  • 1
    The end part I always assumed was "bushel cutter", "brush cutter", something-cutter - i.e. "ruin my bushel-cutter!".
    – Robinson
    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:01

3 Answers 3


It appears (from listening to the clip) that imdb is more correct.

I wash born here, an I wash raished here, and dad gum it, I am gonna die here, an no sidewindin' bushwackin', hornswagglin' cracker croaker is gonna rouin me bishen cutter

dad gum it = god damn it
sidewinding = The action of avoiding a promise that has been made beforehand by shifting the conversation topic to something else. To squirm out of a deal.
bushwhacking = to lie in wait", "to ambush", "to assault".
hornswoggling = get the better of (someone) by cheating or deception.
cracker croaker = not entirely sure, but "croaker" can be defined as a person who grumbles or habitually predicts evil.
rouin = ruin
bishen cutter = not even a clue here. Some people have quoted this part very differently, most commonly as "biscuit-cutter"

  • 9
    Don't forget, a cracker is a deragotary term for a white male, so a cracker croaker would be a white person who grumbles or ahbitually predicts evil. It's also possible that "croaker" would refer to someone who would give up information easily, or "croaks" under pressure, like an informant, or a snitch.
    – yuritsuki
    Feb 2, 2015 at 22:40
  • 2
    Sidewindin' might be meant to imply a sidewinder rattlesnake: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crotalus_cerastes
    – rrauenza
    Feb 2, 2015 at 23:27
  • 2
    Turn on closed captioning on YouTube. It (automated CC) obviously doesn't have a clue, either! Feb 2, 2015 at 23:54
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    cracker croaker = white man killer or killer who is white
    – CGCampbell
    Feb 3, 2015 at 15:15
  • 4
    biscuit cutter = cheating cook, this comes from the chuck-wagons. A 'standard meal' would have been beans (and a little bacon/bacon-fat) and a nice warm (thick) biscuit. A biscuit cutter was a chuck-wagon cook who was (known to) skimp on costs by giving out biscuits cut into halves or quarters, instead of the whole thing. Essentially, Gabby Johnson was using every euphemism for cheat or swindler they could think of, and using words which were (fairly) authentic. Even cracker was an epithet used in the post-civil war era.
    – CGCampbell
    Feb 3, 2015 at 15:26

Cracker cooker is the correct sentence. Its a derogatory term for squatters who ran out to homestead before the posted duration of the law during the gold rush.


It's "...hornswagglin' crackercroaker is gonna run away ..."

Remember, this is Gabby scolding the preacher, who's just said he's going abandon the rest of the group. You could summarize Gabby's speech thus: "Get back here! Nobody's going to run away, (you) [biscuit cutter?]!"

Gabby's response to the preacher's "I'm leaving" begins: "you get back here you pious, pain in the ass side winder! Ain't no way that nobody is gonna leave this town!"

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