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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 16, 2008
Beef-Head (a Texan)

A resident of Texas was called a “Beef-Head” by at least 1864. The name is related to Texas’s famous cattle industry and was similar to “cowboy.”
“Beef-Heads” appeared on many state nickname lists in newspapers until about 1920, but the term was otherwise infrequently used.
(Dictionary of American Regional English)
beef-head n
A Texan.
1872 Harper’s Mag. 44.318/1, Texas, Beef-Heads; Vermont, Green Mountain Boys.
1937 Shankle Nicknames 521, The Texans are called Beef-heads.
1968 Adams Western Words, Beef head—A Texan.
(Dictionary of Americanisms)
Beef-Head, a nickname for a Texan, obs.
1872 Harper’s Mag. Jan. 318/1 Texas, Beef-Heads; Vermont, Green Mountain Boys.
1886 Chi. W. News 29 Apr. 4/3 Texas is the Lone-Star state,...its people are Beef-Heads for some unknown reason.
25 July 1864, Indianapolis (IN) Daily Journal, “National Nick-Names,” pg. 4, col. 2:
Texas…Beef Heads
Google Books
June 1865, The Wisconsin Journal of Education, pg. 328:
The following are the “nicknames” of the native inhabitants of the different States:
... Texas, Beef=Heads; ...
1 December 1865, The Rescue (Sacramento, CA), “National Nicknames,” pg. 3, col. 3:
... Texas, Beef Heads; ...
9 April 1866, Cleveland (OH) Daily Plain Dealer, “Geographical Nicknames,” pg. 2, col. 5:
The natives of these States are:
Texas, beef heads; ...
Google Books
Dei-, Spitz- und Spott-Namen
(Surnames and Nicknames.)
W. Wuffehl
Hoboken, NJ: Hudson County Journal
Pg. 27:
Beef Heads, f. Texas.
11 February 1869, Jackson Sentinel (Maquoketa, Iowa), pg. 2, col. 2:
Texas, Beef Heads.
28 April 1870, Decatur (IL) Republican, “National Nicknames,” pg. 1, col. 4:
...Texas, Beef Heads;...
Google Books
Annual Statistician—1876
Compiled by John P. Mains
San Francisco, CA: L. P. McCarty, Publisher
Pg. 90:
TEXAS—The Lone Star State. Beetheads. (Probably a typo for “Beefheads.”—ed.)
Google Books
U. S.
An Index to the United States of America

Compiled by Malcolm Townsend
Boston, MA: D. Lothrop Company
Pg. 81:
Texas…Beef-heads...Owing to its chief occupation of raising cattle through natural State advantages in its vast grazing lands.
Google Books
Universal Dictionary of the English Language
Edited by Robert Hunter and Charles Morris
New York, NY: Peter Fenelon Collier, Publisher
Pg. 5344:
Texas. Beef-heads (derived from the grazing industry).
2 July 1904, Grand Forks (ND) Herald, “Nicknames of States,” pg. 2:
Texas is the Lone Star state because that was the emblem of her flag before she was admitted to the union. Texans are “beef heads” because their chief occupation is cattle raising.
Google Books
American English
by Gilbert Milligan Tucker
New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf
Pg. 322:
“BEEF-HEADS OR COWBOYS, People of Texas and the West of U. S. A., the general employment of the inhabitants being the harrying of cattle.” Beef-head is a new word to me, though I cannot say it does not exist.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, March 16, 2008 • Permalink

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