bay steer n Also base steer, bay mule, bay ox [See quot 1951] chiefly West
Used as an intensive in var compar phrr, esp kick like a bay steer to resist or protest vigorously.
1875 Logansport Daily Star (IN) 5 June 1/4, William “kicked like a bay steer” at this proceeding, and the officer was compelled to use his mace on him. 1882 Nye 40 Liars 273, Colorow snored and kicked in his slumbers like a bay mule. 1906 DN 3.143 nwAR, Kick worse than a bay steer (down hill backwards). . . To resist with might and main. 1931 K.C. Times 28 Sept (DA), The next morning he came down town kicking like a bay steer. 1933 AmSp 8.1.28 TX, Kick like a bay steer. To kick vigorously—applied to animals and figuratively to persons. 1939 FWP ID Lore 243, You’re as crazy as a bay steer in a cornfield. 1946 Western Folkl. 5.231 wOR, He kicks like a bay steer. He makes a strenuous objection. . . I have often heard this saying as “a base steer,” modified. I suppose, by popular etymology. Ibid 338 CA, To sweat like a bay steer. [1951 Fergusson New Mexico 405, Bay steer—a reddish-brown steer. Cowmen think the Hereford steer of that color is especially vicious.] 1956 Beckley Post–Herald (WV) 31 Aug 4/2, We know it is natural for any county to kick like a bay mule when they are about to lose some of the territory that helps them in the payment of taxes. 1966–67 DARE (Qu. X56b) Inf SD3, Sweat like a bay steer; LA2, Sweating like a bay ox—I said that the other day, but a ox don’t sweat; (Qu. KK11) Inf IL5, Bucked like a bay steer. 1970 DARE Tape TX89, They kick like a bay mule. 2009 in 2015 DARE File—Internet OK, I started huntin with a H&R single shot 12gauge . . kicked like a bay mule but i didnt care. 2012 in 2015 Ibid TX, [Caption to photo of fish:] They have trouble making 14 inches, but they are two inches thick and pull like a Bay Steer!