Texas Sayings and Words Visitors Should Know

Since the winter is fast approaching there are more and more northerners down here in the south. Often they are short term visitors; not exactly snowbirds but you get the drift. Sometimes just trying to talk to a true Texan can be a bit challenging, especially if you don't know the local sayings, phrases and just plain old weird Texasisms.This hub came about because a friend of mine from Calgary, Alberta asked me about a conversation they had with a Texan that left them a bit mystified.

The following is hopefully going to shine some light on the more common sayings you may encounter while in the Lone Star State. Keep in mind that Texas is huge and there are many regional sayings as well, but this should get you started.

Great Musical Tour of Texas - A Must Watch

Understanding The Lingo

He's all hat and no cattle. – this is probably pretty obvious, but it is someone that likes to put on a good front or appearance but really has no credentials, real world skills or any knowledge on whatever he is spouting off about. In other areas this individual is the know it all, blowhard or the poser.

Toad choker – this is also referred to as a frog strangler or a turd floater, and means a heavy torrential downpour. Since most of Texas is pretty flat, heavy rains pose a true flash flooding hazard as well as lots of issues with closed roads.

Y'all – y'all, which is often pronounced yaaaaaallllllllll, is a way of referring to at least one other person. In general if you are talking to more than a handful of people the correct southern and Texas address would be "all y'all". This is sometimes a bit confusing but just go with the flow.

Do wut? – this is the standard response if you weren't paying attention or didn't hear what the speaker said for some reason. In other cultures the way this is often expressed is "excuse me" or "pardon me" or even "could you please repeat that?" Sometimes this phrase is expanded to "Do wut now?"

Greeze and Earl – despite what you might think, these are actually components to your car. Greeze, otherwise known as grease, and earl or oil, often cause stains on your hands or clothes. These stains are considered to be greezy, and are really problematic in hot weather. Of course you also have to constantly keep checking the pressure in your tiyures (tires) because the hot temperatures cause problems there as well.

Uh huh – when you say "thank you" often you were hear the response "uh huh". This should be interpreted in this situation as your welcome. It can also be a sign of agreement with the last statement made.

Bowed up – when someone is really angry and is taking on an aggressive body stance, they are said to be all bowed up. Kids that are talking back to their parents will often be told not to get all bowed up or they will get a "whipping".

Jaw Jackin – just talking to hear yourself or talking smack to someone. Jaw jacking is often combined with getting bowed up.

Hitched but not churched – this is a way of saying that a couple is living together without being married. In the Bible belt this is still a taboo, and there are many sayings that relate to heathens, sin and immoral behavior.

Broke bad – basically this refers to anyone that seems to come from a good family but he or she has gone over to the dark side. It can refer to horses that are incorrectly "broke" or trained, resulting in mean and unfriendly animals but in Texas it typically refers to people.

They are proud of that – being proud of something means that you place an unusually or unreasonably high value on some item that is really not worth near that amount. This is a subjective statement but it is commonly heard at auctions, swap meets, garage sales and farmer's markets.

Chunk – Ok, this one is really weird. If you are throwing something a short distance they say they are chunking it. Don't know why Texans don't say chucking it like the rest of the world but there ya go!

Neighbor – neighbors are the people in your community, someone you talked to once at the Dairy Queen that lives up (or down) the road, someone you are distantly related to through marriage or someone that lives in the same county as you do. It really doesn't have anything with physical address locations and can be really misleading.

Coke – anything that is called soda or pop anywhere else is called Coke in Texas. For example, Coke can be Pepsi, Sprite, Dr. Pepper or almost anything else that fizzes and comes in a can or bottle.

Tea – tea is always iced tea and is always sweet iced tea unless you specifically ask for unsweetened. If you have never had southern sweet tea you may want to try a small taste before ordering a whole glass. Let's just say it is sort of like drinking icing!

Not plum but pert near – this is a highly descriptive and phonetic way to say everything isn't exactly perfect but it is close enough to be workable. If someone asks you how you are doing you can always answer "fair to midlin", which is the equivalent of not plum but pert near!

Fix'in – this is the ultimate in Texan speak. Fix'in, which is not said fixing but is sometimes pronounced as "fiddin", is a way to indicate that at some yet to be determined time some action is going to be taken. An example of this would be "I'm fix'in to go to the store". Notice this doesn't indicate when and can be also used to indicate you are thinking about possibility doing something sometime.

For those Texans out there, please feel free to add a few statements of your own and help out those visitors to your great state to feel right at home, y'all!

Comments 122 comments

Eddientexas 7 years ago

"nine line bind" is being uptight emotionally or physically and refers to block and tackles.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Nice choice of videos. I went to school with Brian Burns. Notice he starts with Waco. :) He's one of the nicest Texas country singers you'll ever meet.

Yaonttoo (pronounced ya-ont-too)...We can go to the store now if yaonttoo. ("if you want to" all as one word)

Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Eddientexas and KCC for your additions to the list. I love that video, hope to find more of Brian Burns singing KCC.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hahaha! Some of these were new to me and I have now lived in Texas most of my adult life. I remember when we moved from Wisconsin to South Texas, it was literally hard to understand some of our neighbors........real neighbors that lived next to and behind us. We gradually figured out most of the lingo.

I remember stopping in a cafe for lunch in West Texas a few years ago and my mother and I were absolutely mystified by some of the conversations in the booth next to us. I KNOW they were speaking English.............guess it was just some West Texas English. LOL

Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Peggy and I know what you mean! I still have trouble over in west Texas sometimes, although I am getting a lot better. It seems you don't hear as many of these sayings in the larger centers, you have to get to the smaller rural places to be really Texified!!!

robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey

Great video and terrific translations. I don't speak much Texan, but enough to get along I guess:-) This was fun.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks robie2. I enjoyed that video as well, who knew that KCC went to school with the singer, small world!

Mbshine 6 years ago

Goat Rodeo..sort of a exas version of a chinese fire drill

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Mbshine, I haven't heard that one so one more for the list!

texastrader 6 years ago

What a surprise to see our picture on this site. That piece of metal art is sitting on a bench I bought in Lubbock, Texas years ago. We own the largest online store for Texas gifts and décor and we don't mind your using our photos, we just would appreciate the Thanks!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Sorry texastrader. The image has been removed I apologize as there was no credit given in the site I obtained the image from.

sksmith60 6 years ago I was going to go over to your site then I thought heck no cause down here when someone brags about (in this case used a pic of metal art) your stuff you oughta be proud.. you got freely promoted with or with out your address. Instead you self promote here without that photo. The way I see it you oughta give Mardi some promotion on your site for being so kind.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Thanks for stopping by. I just want to clarify that texastrader didn't ask me to remove the photo, I chose to do that as I thought it was a free use photo on an image website I have used in the past. I can see their point, if it was their image they deserve credit, but I just don't have time to track this all down, was easier just to take it off.

Take care and enjoy the summer heat!

expats profile image

expats 6 years ago from UK

So for us Brits we not only have to learn 'American' words we also have to learn Texas words if visit there.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Thanks for reading. Don't worry, everyone here is more than willing to help you speak Texan!

CornerStone51 profile image

CornerStone51 6 years ago from Mifflintown, PA

I am a GRIT...Girl Raised in Texas!!! I was born and raised in Pampa, Texas in the Panhandle. One of the Texas quips I love is "pitchin' a hissy fit". My husband's family is from East Texas. They don't take anyone someplace down there, they "carry" you, such as, I carried Mother to the store today. I am always "fixinto"...and I love that in Texas every soda pop is called a Coke...You want a Coke? What kinda Coke do 'bout a Dr. Pepper? I love, love my native state. Haven't lived there in over 30 years but am planning on returning there to live very soon. I have been away long enough. I long to go where they all talk just like I do!!!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks CornerStone51 aka GRIT 1951!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment and add to the discussion. It is interesting, we also use the term pitching a hissy fit in Canada so I was familiar with that one. I hope you are soon back in Texas, it is a great place to spend time even for us non-natives!

Erin 6 years ago

I've spent my whole life here in Texas (East Texas to be exact..more cows than Here are a few more quotes to add to your list:

That dog'll hunt (or won't hunt)- That will do the trick (or won't do the trick)

More nervous than a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rockin' chairs- Someone (usually male) being nervous to meet the folks (usually the father of said date for the first time)

Fair to midlen- my dad uses this all the time. It means your day is going ok, not so bad, not so good.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Thanks so much for your additions to the list! It took awhile for me to get used to the language but I have it down now - well almost.

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

lol, very funny

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hey Granny's House, thanks for the comment. Glad you had a laugh.

deep south texas girl 5 years ago

What about phrases used instead of instead of "son of a b****"...I've uses..."San Antonio texas"...and another phrases I've heard is "juwana go"..instead of "do you want to go"

Mardi profile image

Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hey there girl!

Thanks for the comment. You have added to the list and I appreciate you!

LRA 5 years ago

Careful not to tump over your coke... else you'll get sprite ever-where!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks LRA - that Coke thing gets me every time, not sure how that came about down here but it would be interesting to find out.

valerie 5 years ago

my momma always said : go on about your rat killin'

which usually meant - go away and find something to do ,or that is all for now go on about your business

Mike G 5 years ago

I'm from Nacogdoches, TX. I use to hear my mom tell tell folks to go that "do-hicky" when she wanted something and couldn't remember what it was called.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Mike G and Valerie for your additions to the list. I have heard both of these and they definitely should have been one here!

Reese 5 years ago

Cannot leave out the phrase "wallago".

My phone rang wallago and no one was on the line when I answered.

kyle 5 years ago

Another one that's used more than a few times "don get yer panties ina knot" which is usually said to a person who is a little ticked off. One that I use "ima going overyonder."

Mardi profile image

Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Reese and kyle,

Thanks for these great additions.

Leah 5 years ago

Coke doesn't refer to all sodas but specifically coca-cola and, most times, pepsi. Only in backwoods is all sodas called coke.

Sam 5 years ago

I am from Southeast Texas and we always refer to places that are nearby as "a hop, skip, and a jump" away. We also measure distances in time. For example, Houston is about 2 hours east from here, or "the ____________[insert location/building here] is about 10 minutes thataway."

Mardi profile image

Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Thanks for your comment, I guess I just have managed to hit a lot of backwoods places!


You are right about measuring distances by time. I do that too, but it is more meaningful to most people than giving the actual miles! Great comment, thanks.

Reese 5 years ago

I have grown up in Texas from ne to se and all sodas are referred to as coke from Dallas to Houston.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks for your input on the great coke debate Reese, that has been my experience here as well!

applecsmith profile image

applecsmith 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

One of the best hubs I've read! It made me laugh, mostly because living in Texas I have heard or say most of these quotes. You taught me a few new ones. Thanks for sharing!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thank you for your kind words applecsmith. I have found myself becoming more Texanized as time goes on!!!

Christel Chesney 5 years ago

This makes me miss my Texas!

Stellyrox 5 years ago

Born and raised in is so funny because we do use a lot of these words n phrases! We also use ain't (isn't) and you can't forget yup(yes)

Ray 5 years ago

Aight guys, I can honestly say that most of these sayings haven't been used since the eighteen hundreds. However, we do say: Yall, uh hu, do what, chunk, neighbor, get er dun, and fixin. But we mainly say these to annoy people that arent from here lol. But yeah, the tea thing is an absolute myth. The people will ask if you want tea sweet or unsweet. Oh, and the rest of the sayings arent really true... Bye!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Thanks for your comment. Texas is a big state with lots of diverse populations. I have to say that this was a list of actual words, phrases and sayings that I hear in my work and that my friends, neighbors and coworkers actually do use, but I am sure that not all people in Texas or visiting Texas have this experience.

Vinny 5 years ago

Ray I use y'all, uh huh, fixin, and chunk all the time sometimes in one sentence!!O.o lol "thanks" "uh huh, now y'all go check if theres anything else we needa chunk I'm fixin to take this to the dumpster" lolXD

Redland 4 years ago

Texas is not mostly flat btw. And it's not all dirt either infact Texas has a large forests.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Absolutely Redland great point to note. I live in east Texas surrounded by massive pine woods!

Carman 4 years ago

These all made me laugh. I was reading the 'chunking' one, which I say, and saw that it said everyone else says 'chucking'. Chucking sounds weird. Thats probably because I've grown up saying chunkin. The 'yall' definition was accurate too. I also say 'all yall'. That one made me laugh.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Thanks and glad you got a chuckle out of this. Chucking is what we say up in Canada, at least where I am from.

jennifer 4 years ago

what about "wudda" as in "I wudda went to the grocery store but my truck broke down"

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Absolutely and thanks! I wudda thought of that by and along.

Josh Ludiker 4 years ago

My grandma who lived in The Panhandle of Texas Borger to be exact would tell to go and pick a switch which meant i was gonna get a bustin if i wasn't careful and she had to choose which one she gotta use on me

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

I have heard that one a bunch Josh too, thanks for the comment!

GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Delightful! I often refer to Texas a separate entity because Texans are just so unique. A wonderful place in America but cultural so diverse. LOVED this hub! I learned allot and cannot wait to return to Texas.

BYW what is with Texans having a second home in Colorado?

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Thanks for your kind comments and glad you stopped by. Maybe the Texans long for the mountains, the ones that they call mountains here are really just big hills!

Tammy 4 years ago

I live in Southeast Texas and my mom would always say they will get there cumuppins which means they will get what is coming to them and also they have a long roe to hoe which means they have a lot of hard times ahead of them.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Another two I have missed. Thanks Tammy for stopping by and adding to the collection!

Patric 4 years ago

D'ya eat yet? Wunt to?

Did you eat yet? Do you want to?

Patric 4 years ago

And my mother-in-law's favorite: Like piss ants on a meat rind.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Gotta love that last one Patric! Thanks for stopping bye and leaving your comments.

Ashley 4 years ago

Where the hell are yall going to? I've lived in Texas my entire life, and yes, we say chunk, because CHUCK sounds WEIRD! Y'all, its common..everyone says it even the city folks. Any ways. I lived in easy Texas for a big chunk of my life,I lived in a town where my Highschool, elementary, and middle schools all put together has about 200 some odd kids. But the point is, we don't use half the stuff that is on this list.

Ashley 4 years ago

OOPS, I meant east Texas.

Ashley 4 years ago

Oh! Icebox is used for fridge! I'm fixin to is used a lot.....titty baby....hissy fit.....quit poutin, when someone gets mad.....and a bunch more haha

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for adding on there are a lot of different local sayings so some of those are on the list.

katie 4 years ago

I didn't read all the comments, so I don't know if this one was mentioned, but "madder than a calf with a barbed wire tail" and "madder than a wet hen" are ones my family uses a lot... Oh, and "Katie bar the door" (means, this has to be done, basically. Ex: "We have to go to the meeting today, or Katie bar the door!") It's funny because my name is Katie. Lol :P

katie 4 years ago

oh, and "over yonder." That's used a lot. It can be anywhere. Just make sure to point in the direction.

And, "I'm fixin to do that."

And, icebox instead of refrigerator... and if we don't say icebox, it's just fridge.

And, "More nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs."

katie 4 years ago

OH! (I keep thinking of ones haha) And "Dadgumit" (used in place of curse words). Ex: *you drop something* "Dadgumit!"

Renee 4 years ago

This is for Leah, I am a fifth generation Texan, born and raised there for 30 years and now moving back after a few years in another state, and I have to say there in Dallas where I was born, not backwoods by any stretch of the imagination, we all say Coke for everything, not just coke. Plus I also wanna say that we Texans say y'all concerning two or more people...only non Texans trying to be Texan say y'all to only one is you all with a contraction. Therefore not applicable to one individual. Thanks ^.^

Dayna 4 years ago

Um that ain't true, true texans like unsweetened tea but the younger generation typically likes sweet. When you go somewhere and ask for Tea they'll say sweet or unsweet and a lot of times they dont have sweet.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Dayna, I think you are right about the generational thing!

Renee, that y'all thing can be confusing when people don't use it right!

Bage 4 years ago

"If it were a snake it wudhav bit me" refers to looking but not seeing something that is right in front of you..

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Bage, hear that one a lot, great addition to the list.

JanInHouston 4 years ago

I'm a native of Galveston, TX. In the local lingo, I'm a 'B.O.I.', or Born on Island. Some of my favorite Texanisms are:

'Greasy as lard' or 'lower than a snake's belly in a wheel rut', both used to describe a real scoundrel.

Chatting or talking a lot without saying anything important is 'making chin music'.

Something really big is 'Bigger than hell and half of Texas'.

'Throwed down hard' describes someone who is crazy (presumably from being bucked off a horse too many times).

An expression commonly used in reference to someone really stupid is, 'If dirt was dumb, s/he'd cover about an acre.'

Angie C. 4 years ago

I grew up in Dallas, and agree with all your comments. I think you missed one: "might could".

"Can you call Granny and Pappaw and tell them we're coming? - I might could after I wash my hands."

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thank you both JaninHouston and Angie C for your additions to the list. You hit some that I certainly forgot. Even the Pappaw one!!!

bockshiner profile image

bockshiner 4 years ago from Dallas, TX

I'm born and raised in Dallas, TX. I don't know most of these sayings. I'm going to have to start using some of these. My favorite is from the comments "Bigger than hell and half of Texas." I'm going to start using that one. Haha.

DfromATX 4 years ago

Hi, I'm late seeing this article, just discovered it today because I was wondering why we say "Do what?" Very funny! I'm a native Texan. I have to say I agree with the above poster, Ray. Most of these sayings I have never heard of although there are a few we do say, like "Do What" and "fixin". (I think many of these are more hillbilly, not Texan.) Still, it was funny to read.

P.S. - I do like my sweet tea, but I use Splenda. :)

DfromATX 4 years ago

Another P.S. - I never knew the correct word was "chuck". I've been saying "chunk" all my life! I'll blame my parents for that one, lol!

TexasLady 4 years ago

I was born and raised in Texas. It's true that you'll here "y'all, get er done, fixin, and aint" all the time. it's in our dictionary as proper grammer. also instead of saying "taken" we say "tooken". But all the other sayings are rarely used. the only places you'll find those sayings are way back in the backwoods and dirt roads. you'll at least have to drive 40-50 from any airport to find a small town place that speaks like that. plus we are known for our sweet tea but all resturants ask unsweet or sweet tea.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Well TexasLady I live about 60 miles from the nearest small airport and over 175 from the closest major airport so I guess that explains it!

Thanks for your comments. There are so many different comments used in all parts of the country, not just Texas, that is it is fascinating to me.

DfromATX 4 years ago

Y'all need to go see the movie Bernie with Jack Black, Shirley Mcclaine, and Matthew McConniheh (sp?). It takes place in Carthage, Tx. Very funny!

Lisas-thoughts101 profile image

Lisas-thoughts101 4 years ago from Northeast Texas

Mardi, I don't know whether to laugh or be insulted LOL. I am a Texan and I had never realized we had a language all our own. I guess I will laugh. :) I love my state. I work hard to change my "fixing tos" to what the appropriate response should be but don't often succeed. Oh, well....... Voted up...and funny.

Take care,


JRinFL profile image

JRinFL 4 years ago from Naples, Florida

"Bless 'er Heart" to end a sentence that usually includes some critical comments about a person.

Fun read, Mardi! Thanks

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Please just laugh there is absolutely no insult intended. I find that what many people on here have listed as the "backwoods" and "in the sticks" language is the most colorful and unique - at least where I have traveled. Thanks so much for your comments.

JRinFL, too right about that bless 'er heart, it seems to have a version in many different areas!

VoiceOfReason 4 years ago

Now, I will write Texan so don’t get all het up and think I’m uneducated ‘cause that hound don’t hunt. I am both well educated and a world traveler and I’m writing like I speak which is much less formal than I usually do so please bear with me. I think you’ll find it tolerable.

It is my experience that unlike the deep South, in most of Texas "y'all" is plural and you say "all y'all" when the group is large and you want absolute clarity.

Tea is iced, always, year round. I’m not for sure you can get hot tea in a restaurant. Presweetened tea I do declare was invented for tourists (along with puffy tacos, “you guys”,) and has been the default in restaurants for only the last 10 years or so. Some to add to your list that are in very common use... feeling like you were "rode hard and put up wet" means you are plum tuckered out and the reference is horse care. Putting on your best “bib and tucker” is dressing well for the “church go ta meetin”. Fair-ta-middlin’ is a form of grading of various products…in South Texas it was used for cotton. It translates to “could be better, could be worse”. “Hissy fit” emulates a truly annoyed cat. That neighborhood convenience store is still referred to as an “ice house”. I never really thought about it before but Sam is absolutely right. In the land of open freeways, high speed limits and lots of space between cities, I couldn’t begin to tell you how many miles to any given place but I can be pretty accurate in time required. Austin is about 1.5 hours away, Houston round about 3-4, The Valley a good 6 hours…like that. It’s the only way that makes real sense.


Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks so much VoiceofReason, loved the additions to the list.

Brenda 4 years ago

I've lived in south east Texas for 48 years. All my life. One of the sayings I've grown up with is "dark thirty". This means 30 minutes after dark. Example: "we'll start eatin around dark thirty". Does anyone else out there say this?

Brenda 4 years ago

How about "swole" as in swollen. When someone gets mad we say "she is swole" or "swole up" You can add "like a dog tick" if she is really mad.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hi Brenda,

Thanks for your additions to the list. I haven't heard that dark thirty but it is a great saying! Have heard the swole up one, my neighbor uses that all the time.

BigCheezySmile 4 years ago

I LOVE this! I was born and raised in SouthEast Texas until age 18 then moved to the greater Houston area to live until about 2 years ago (I'm 37) when I moved to London, UK. Had some Scottish friends over and they went to a site similar to this except with their phrases. I am so glad that I found this for them. We had so much fun with it. They said that they have heard me say a lot of these but never REALLY knew what I meant. (Ida told 'em if they'da asked.) hehehe They love the y'all and all y'all!

They were confused once when I told them that my momma told me that I had to go get a switch for my whoopin when I was little. They were thinking a she beat me with a light switch. Haha!

SanAntonioChica 4 years ago

Joshin' - this means to 'be messed with', 'cheated of something', or even a way of saying you've been lied to.

"They're just joshin' us" for example, means "They're just messin with us."

"Don't josh me" means "Don't lie to me"

abby 4 years ago

Everyone knows Dallas doesn't count as Texas lol and I don't know about y'all but what about "s/he don't believe fat meat's greasy." (Usually meaning you're about to get "your ass tore off the bone"). And "skatin'on thin ice" which usually means the same thing.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks BigCheezySmile, SanAntonioChica and Abby for the great additions to the list. Lots on here that I haven't heard but they do illustrate how creative people are in the state with their sayings!

Olivia 4 years ago

Tump- as in knock over or dump out. For example, "Here go tump this out onto those plants." or "Careful with that glass, you don't want to tump it over!"

Lillie 4 years ago

I live in the smallest county in Texas!! I have heard and say quite a few of these and I'm 15!!

Might I add some more?

"well I do declare!" and "this aint my first rodeo"

Corrie 4 years ago

"Buck up or shut up"

One of the most used phrases in my family. Means (basically) quit talking about how you can do something and do it!

ldsjackson 4 years ago

I enjoyed reading all of these posts! My parents are from Central Texas and West/Panhandle Texas. My Grandparents are from the Panhandle and East Texas. I have heard many, many of these sayings and words. Many of them are probably regional, and yes, we are probably losing many of them due to exposure to more of the world's cultures in the larger cities.

Similarly, I have heard people pick up the "curse" word "bloody" to a slight degree... I am pretty sure that wasn't the norm 30 years ago... 50 years ago... I bet linguists or some other such professional has the scoop on what this is called!

Nonetheless, my mom often says ranch or rinch for rinse. As in, "I'll wash and you ranch and dry the dishes."

My grandma always said "here directly" as her way to put us off instead of saying "in a minute" or "after while". So, if she would say, "here directly, we'll go to the store." That could mean anywhere from 10 minutes to 4 hours!

When it comes to distances, we also measure in time. However, my mom also says that places are "just over the hill," and they could be an hour away. But to her, they are just over the hill or just over yonder!

My great grandmother, who was from Mt. Selman, East Texas, made the world's BEST sweet tea. It was so sweet, the spoon would stand up in the pitcher.

Speaking of pitchers, when speaking to someone from Texas, it is hard to tell when they are taking about pitchers you pour from and pictures that hang on the wall! It all comes out "pitchurs"!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Laura, Corrie, Olivia and Lillie for your additions to the list!

TXKas 4 years ago

Cute Read! " 'Member" (remember) if you get "plum tuckered out" or "dead tired" just "pull yourself up by your boot-straps" and "keep on trucking.'" Be blessed, Friends!

SSATEXAN11 4 years ago

OOh. And I'm from a liool(pronounced l ool [which is how we say little]) called Somerset on the outskirts uh bexar (bear) county

And sumtimes instead of hello we say yello. Not howdy like all those stereotypes

SATEAXAN11 4 years ago

OOh yeah! Another one is beat you like a red necked/headed step child! Or severly punish.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks SATEXAN11, great additions to the list.

Dylan 3 years ago

hi, im a texan, so i went here for giggles... and i realized how true this all was... im only 13, but guilty for allot of these.... LOL,

Beckyboo 3 years ago

I'm a texas girl through n' through, and I will correct one thing. The whole sweet tea deal isn't exactly true. It used to be if you asked for a tea, you only got unsweet. You never EVER got sweet, because nobody ever made it. However, that HAS changed over the past decade or so...for reasons I really don't know. My guess is someone complained about not having sweet tea, and now everyone does it. Usually if you ask for a tea they will ask you what kind, and you can get unsweet. If you do get sweet though, 90% of the time it IS super SUPER sweet, so don't get it. :/ Also, my family and I say that we are 'yackin' a lot, meaning that we are having a conversation. Example: 'those people are yackin' over there'. I don't know if that is actually Texan slang or not, but I figured I'd throw that out there. :)

Mardi profile image

Mardi 3 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks for clarifying Beckyboo

Meredith 3 years ago

Even in the city of San Antonio, (now that ain't backwater, is it?) when we went to a restaurant, as a kid, I always ordered coke...if I got Coca Cola I was completely confused. The server should always ask "what kind?" Of course I wanted Dr. Pepper. I bet some places if you order a coke they give you a Dr. Pepper.

Becca 3 years ago

I grew up in a small town in west Texas and I and just about everyone I know is guilty of using most of these. :-) Growing up my daddy would always tell me " Just cause you put your boots in the oven, that don't make 'em biscuits"

Which basically means that you can think, say, or believe something as fiercely as you'd like but that don't always make it true.

Ashley 3 years ago

In Texas we do not turn things on or off, we cut them on or off, such as cut them lights off or cut the television on.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 3 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks for the comments and nice to hear that things are basically the same over the the entire state!

aerobleufour15 3 years ago

Well, you've heard this a few times already, but I have to add my name to the list of native Texans who are telling you that sweet tea in Texas is a fantasy or misunderstanding -- take your choice. I have lived here all my life and never could get sweet tea in a restaurant here until a few years ago. And yes, I agree this started because of tourists -- or maybe because of the sale of sweet bottled tea.

If you go to the deep south a number of restaurants offer sweet tea and if you don't specify unsweetened, they just bring the sweet stuff.

The history of sweet tea is interesting. It originated in Germany and was brought to the US by those of German descent -- so I am told.

Similarly, BBQ (in Texas) came down through German immigrants.

So, there you have it, y'all.

Jim* 3 years ago

"Saddle up!" Besides referring to your horse and its preparation for use, it can also be referring to being prepared. e.g. You gonna "saddle up?" Are you getting ready to go. OR, "Rein in to get saddled up darlin'." Wait to get ready to do whatever it is you are going to do.

Lee 3 years ago

FYI, Chunk is singular. Chunking is plural... There you go!

Lee 3 years ago

Old history, but at one time Sweet Tea was referring to a moonshine...

Mardi profile image

Mardi 3 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks for all your comment on the history of these sayings. That sweet tea issue seems to have been resolved! I seem to have hit the state after the conversion to the sugary brew became popular.

Cathi Sutton profile image

Cathi Sutton 3 years ago

How about "drekly"? Like "I'll be there drekly." Instead of directly? And means basically "When I get around to it" or "When I feel like it". As opposed to "right away" like "directly" would imply.

MmmHmm 2 years ago

I've been raised in Texas my whole life. I don't know about the north, but I do know that in places like Houston, Dallas, and Austin, not a single one of these are correct. The only people that say "Uh-huh" instead of "you're welcome" are really teenagers, or people who didn't want to help you. Same with "do wut?" The only people who say that are teenagers, once again. And sure, we do jumble our words together a little more, but other than that, there's really nothing special about the way we speak. I've also been to many other places in the U.S.A, and we sound the exact same as them (to me, at least). But, like I said, this is just in more populated areas like Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

Billy801 2 years ago

Don't forget "Bless his (or her, or their) heart" when you are fixing to criticize somebody. For example,

"That Johnny Doe, bless his heart, he can't do a thing right."

Cathi Sutton profile image

Cathi Sutton 2 years ago

There is also "ratchet jaw" which is a noun or verb according to usage. Like, "He sure is a ratchet jaw." Meaning he never shuts up... noun. Or "All he did was ratchet jaw." Meaning he just kept on talking... verb.

Texans threaten each other in meaningful ways. Like, "Boy, I'll stomp a mud hole in you." Meaning someone is fixin to get their "butt kicked." We are also able to ridicule with flare. Like, "Sorry, but that girl is so ugly she could haunt a house." Or "Someone beat him with an ugly stick." If a stray dog comes up in the yard, you might hear the the human occupant of the house holler, "Get from here!" While quickly clapping their hands. Things like "He's so low he has to jump up to look down." Meaning he has poor morals, is very depressed, is broke, and so on, is probably regional, and not a statewide saying. If a person is "in a bind" it can mean he is without money, or got caught doing something unacceptable to a friend, family member, or law enforcement. If a person is "stove up" he or she probably has a physical injury. "Tapped out" also has various meanings. Like "My bank account is tapped out." An empty salt shaker is "tapped out." If your car breaks down, it "tapped out." Even relationships become "tapped out."

So when y'all come to Texas, don't "bite off more than you can chew" when trying to speak the lingo. Just "let 'er ride" and if you ain't sure what somebody means, ask. 'Cause most of us have "more'n our heads than hay seed" and are happy to educate you on the way you said it wrong. When visiting Texas always "come back when you can stay longer", but "don't let the door knob hit cha where the dog should'a bit cha" on your way back across the state line.

TexasOlTimer 2 years ago

Being a 7th generation Texan and raised in West Texas by several generations of Texans, I'm always surprised when I hear foreigners (anyone from out of state) say they can't understand me or try to correct my pronunciation of our town names.

As to how the word Coke came to mean all sodas... when I was a young child back about WWII, the only soda I knew about was Coca-cola. I think there was also Pepsi and Dr. Pepper as well as NeHi Orange and Grape. However, in my home and the neighbors it was Coke. I think because it was probably the most popular soda at the time, it became the generic form for all sodas much like kleenex is generic now for tissues.

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Arco Hess Designs 2 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

Some of these seem to be more than just Texas sayings (maybe Southern). But "chunking"? Seems odd. "Chucking" I have heard, that's what my husband says.

DJ 2 years ago

haha Some of these are really never used... like ever! I have lived in Texas my whole life and have never heard some of these. We do use y'all and fixin' some teens use "do wut" Neighbors dose normally refer to someone close to you. But really we don't talk to much different really. People have the wrong idea most Texans speak pretty normally.

Breonna 20 months ago

I've lived all my life in Texas, and I'm not too sure wether or not I should be offended, or just laugh my butt off. Texans don't say most of these things, unless of course they're older folks. But hey, this was good for a laugh!!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 20 months ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hi and thanks all for your comments.

I wish to clarify, I never intended this to be negative towards Texas or Texans, but rather some unique turns of phrase people use. Perhaps they are generational, perhaps they are local, but they are all things I have heard and, by the comments, things others have heard too.

Personally, I find unique ways of speaking and local phrases and terms very interesting and part of what makes things special in some areas. However, everyone has lived in different areas and Texas is a big state!

maerawillis 12 months ago

It's funny because most of these wouldn't even come to mind when someone asked about weird things that we Texans say. I live in Dallas and most of this is just regular, every day speak. However, I'd never heard the 'toads' one. I just say that it's raining cats and dogs.

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