American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A newcomer not yet hardened to rough outdoor life; a greenhorn.
- n. An inexperienced person; a novice.
- n. A Boy Scout of the lowest rank.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A new-comer on the plains or in the bush, or one who has not become hardened to the life there; a greenhorn; a novice.
- n. An inexperienced person; a novice
- n. A newcomer to the region in the old U.S. frontier days.
- n. The lowest rank of Boy Scout.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Slang, Western U. S. A delicate person; one not inured to the hardship and rudeness of pioneer life.
- n. See Boy scout.
- n. an inexperienced person (especially someone inexperienced in outdoor living)
- tender + foot. Refers to the delicate feet of newcomers to ranching or mining areas. First attested 1866. (Wiktionary)
“The highest commendatory degree which can be passed upon a man in that country, and the one which distinguishes him from the tenderfoot, is that of being a "sour-dough boy.”
“This was the second time today he'd been called a tenderfoot, and he didn't like it.”
“The first day a tenderfoot is our guest," replied Mollie Long, laughing.”
“Mr. Ashe had been anxiously consulted, for the Eastern boy had no desire to be dubbed a tenderfoot; and now, except for its spotless newness, his costume was quite "Western and ranchified" -- according to Blue”
“The redeeming point of the tenderfoot is his humbleness of spirit and his extreme good nature.”
“It rankled to be called tenderfoot by a slender chit of a woman.”
“I had now little fear of being called a tenderfoot and when I viewed my reflection in the spring I felt quite proud of my appearance.”
“Many a hungry "tenderfoot" has had cause to bless the fortune which led him to her door.”
“It was a big temptation to Job, the biggest the boy had ever known -- to beat Pete; to show off Bess; to prove he was no "tenderfoot" or "kid" any more.”
“The "tenderfoot", as Roy also characterized him, was attired in a light suit, the trousers very much creased.”
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