On the scout

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

4 comments on this post.
  1. Scott:

    “…a ‘scout’ was simply a knowledgeable rider who investigated the trail ahead to insure the travelers’ safety.”

    Why do you use “insure” here rather than “ensure”? I always thought “insure” was used strictly in the sense of an insurance policy.

  2. John E. Schlosser:

    In the novel “True Grit,” I saw two uses of the phrase “on the scout.” Tom Chaney was said to be “on the scout.” Also, when asked whether Rooster should tell Moon’s brother what happened to him, the dying Moon says “It don’t matter. He knows I was on the scout.” No idea what the origin of this phrase is.

  3. Troy G.:

    My interpretation of “on the scout” given the context of True Grit, is he was indeed, in the service of the Lord (methodist) in other words a “believer”, thus “I will see him, walking the streets of glory”…..

  4. Jake F:

    The phrase “on the scout” is used in an old blues song by Memphis Minnie (Killer Diller Blues). It seems to carry at least a whiff of a connotation, in this context, of being “on the make.” Here’s the lyric:

    Well, the ugliest lil thing you ever see before…
    He didn’t be a tramp, he’s a hobo.
    Hes a ugly lil somethin on the scout.
    Hes a terrible lil creature hush yo’ mouth.
    Hes a awful lil thing, he’s a killer diller from the south.

Leave a comment