There are some Texas sayings that every Texan knows by heart. Texans simply have their own way of talkin’. If you’re lucky enough to be a Texan, you no doubt have these iconic Texas sayings down pat. And if you’re new to the Lone Star State, here’s a rundown of the words and axioms you should immediately work into your vocabulary.
“Y’all” is a contraction for “you all,” and it’s the very heart of Texan speak. If you want to address more than one person, it’s never “you guys,” it’s “y’all.” (“All y’all” will also work.)
In place of hello, say “howdy.” It’s a greeting as Texan as cowboy boots and the Alamo. It’s friendly and casual, and it works quite well with a “y’all” at the end — howdy, y’all!
3. Don’t mess with Texas
You’ve no doubt seen this phrase on everything from T-shirts to belt buckles. It’s been the unofficial slogan of the Lone Star State since 1985. While the rest of the country thinks it’s just a catchphrase, true Texans know it’s part of an anti-littering campaign.
4. Everything’s bigger in Texas
It’s true. Everything is bigger in Texas, from people’s hair to their pickup trucks. Dallas leaves no doubt that it’s a big, bold city — it installed giant letters B and G throughout the city. Tourists can stand in between the letters for one big (and cool) photo opp. Which leads to the next famous Texas saying …
5. Bigger’n Dallas
You’d use this expression when you want to say something is immediately noticeable. “Look at him up there bigger’n Dallas!”
6. Fixin’ to
This is basically the state verb of Texas. There’s really nothing to fix, though — this Texas saying means that you’re about to do something. Example: “I’m fixin’ to leave.”
7. All git-out
This means to a great degree, exceedingly, or as much as possible. As in: “She was happier’n all git-out!”
8. This ain’t my first rodeo
When you’ve been there and done that, this is the Texas saying you’d use. It means you’re no fool. You know exactly what you’re doing.
9. Hissy fit
You don’t want to mess with a Texan who’s throwing a hissy fit. This is an all-out tantrum with hollerin’, feet stompin’ — the works.
Texans never ask for a soda, soft drink, or pop. It’s Coke — no matter what kind of carbonated refreshment they want.
What It Means To “Talk Texan”
What goes into talking Texan? A lot of things: syntax, cadence, pronunciation, and vocabulary. Most important to remember is that the “g” in the suffix “ing” is silent — therefore, “fixing to” becomes “fixin’ to.”
That traditional Texas twang — think Matthew McConaughey’s slow, Southern drawl — is evolving, though. Researchers at UT Austin found that about 80 percent of Texans had a classic Texas accent in the 1980s. Only about a third of Texans do today.
The unique Texas dialect may be evolving, but these 10 iconic Texas sayings endure. And if you’re moving to the DFW area, get ready to hear them on a regular basis.
Image Source: Flickr/Texas State Library and Archives Commission
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