A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 16, 2013
Overland Trout (bacon)

"Overland trout” is a cowboy slang name for “bacon.” The term “overland trout” was part of a larger cowboy slang list that was printed in many newspapers in 1887.


Chronicling America
24 February 1887, Belmont Chronicle (St. Clairsville, OH), pg. 1, col. 4:
The cowboys have a language of their own which no “tenderfoot” may attain unto until he has served his novitiate. (...) Bacon is “overland trout,” and unbranded cattle are “mavericks.”
(This story appears to have originated in the Omaha Daily World, February 1, 1887, og. 2, col. 5—ed.)

Google News Archive
10 March 1887, St. Joseph (MO) Weekly Gazette, pg. 11, col. 5:
THE cowboys have a language intelligible only to the initiated. (...) Bacon is “overland trout,” and unbranded cattle are “mavericks.”

Google Books
A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant, Vol. II L-Z
Edited by Albert Barrère, Charles Godfrey Leland
The Ballantyne Press
1890
Pg. 110:
Overland trout (American cowboys), bacon.

Google Books
A Room for the Night:
Hotels of the Old West

By Richard A. Van Orman
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press
1966
Pg. 110:
... and the four B’s — sourdough biscuits, bacon (called by cowboys “overland trout"), beef, and beans.

Google Books
The Cowboys
By William H. Forbis
New York, NY: Time-Life Books
1973
Pg. 155:
Over his fire cook Garcia boiled the beans that were his monotonous specialty — “Pecos strawberries,” the boys called them. For meat Garcia almost always served fried bacon, or “overland trout.”

Google Books
Texas Torment
By Catherine Creel
New York, NY: Kensington Pub. Corp.
1985
Pg. 411:
Dusk had fallen by the time everyone had finished a supper of fried bacon, called “overland trout” by a few of the drovers, pinto beans, boiled potatoes, and sourdough biscuits.

Google Books
The Cowboy Encyclopedia
By Richard W. Slatta
Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO
1994
Pg. 268:
OVERLAND TROUT
Colloquial term for bacon.

mental_floss
September 28, 2012 - 12:46pm
27 Cowboy Slang Terms for Things You Eat and Drink
by Adrienne Crezo
(...)
2. Overland trout: Bacon

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Wednesday, January 16, 2013 • Permalink