(caballerango [kaßajeráŋgo] < caballo 'horse' < Latin caballum 'pack horse, nag' plus -ero, an agentive suffix, plus -ango, a despec-tive suffix)
   OED: 1888. The hand on a ranch or trail drive who cares for the herd of horses. This position was usually held by a young or inexperienced cowboy. This term appears in English as early as the sixteenth century, but with the very different meaning of 'disputant,' such as for the throne. The OED suggests that the term used in the West is a combination of the English term wrangler and the Spanish caballerango. It is also quite likely that the western term evolved without the influence of the original English term, which cowboys were probably not familiar with. Rather, it is possible that early cowboys heard caballerango and recognized the caballo element. Early variants, caballo rango or even horse rango, would have eventually been shortened to wrango and then wrangler. It is likely that the eventual spelling was influenced by the existing English word. The Royal Academy glosses caballerango as a Mexicanism for a servant on horseback. Santamaría gives a definition more similar to the western meaning. He defines it as the servant who, on a ranch or personal estate, keeps and saddles the horses.
   Alternate forms: caverango, horse-wrangler, wangler, wrangatang, wrango.
   Also called horse pestler, horse rustler, remudero.
   day wrangler
   The hand that cares for the remuda, or herd of horses, by day.
   dew wrangler
   The wrangler who works the early morning shift.
   dude wrangler
   A cowboy who cares for horses, leads rides for guests, and perform other chores on a dude ranch.
   hen wrangler
   A boy employed for chores on a ranch.
   law wrangler
   According to Adams, a common term for a lawyer.

Cowboy Talk. A Dictionary of Spanish Terms. . 2013.


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