Where Did the Term “Maverick” Come From and Why is it Used For Someone Who Does Things Differently?

In the nineteenth century, Samuel A. Maverick was a stubborn Texas rancher.

Because he said it was cruel, he refused to brand his cattle even though it was the only way to identify who owned free-range livestock.

Instead he would round up all the unbranded cattle he could find, even those not from his own herd.

At first any stray unbranded cow was called a “maverick,” but the word has grown to mean anyone who doesn’t play by the rules.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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