Texans may tend to talk a little slow, but don’t let that fool you. The Texan culture relishes wit, wisdom and storytelling. And since I routinely communicate with folks all over the world I figured it would be appropriate to publish a little “Texan to English” translation guide to ensure people always know what I’m gettin on about.
So, in case you’d like to learn how to talk like a Texan, or if you just need to occasionally translate something you heard me say in passing, here is a lexicon of phrases and colloquialisms from Texas.
- Aggravated – Used to describe everything from mild annoyance to dangerous, murderous rage.
- Conniption – A fit, getting all worked up over something. Example: That child was having a conniption! Someone needed to tan his hide.
- Looker – An attractive person. Example: “Wow! She’s a looker!”
- Over Yonder – Over there.
- Sorry – An adjective meaning worthless, loser, or useless. Enhanced inflection makes it more emphatic. Example: “When I get my hands on that sorry, good-for-nothing punk…”
- Grub – Food. A meal.
- Fixins – An entire meal, excluding the main dish. Example: “I’ll have a hamburger with all the fixins.”
- Directly – In a little while. Example: “Well run down to the ice cream store, directly. For now – finish your supper.”
- Idiot Box – Television
- Dinner – Often times refers to lunch, or the meal in the middle of the day. Sometimes may refer to the evening meal.
- Supper – Almost always refers to the evening meal, but sometimes may mean lunch.
- Howdy – Although it sounds like “how are you”, howdy is more of a salutation like hello, bonjour, guten Tag, etc.
- Fess up – To confess or admit to something.
- Fit to be Tied – very upset.
- Fixin’ to – Preparing to do something. Example: “I’m fixin to go to the store. Do you need anything?”
- Hissy Fit – Same as a conniption.
- Lit Out – Took off, started out, or absconded across some terrain. “He lit out of here as soon as the cops showed up.”
- All Choked Up – Overcome with emotion (other than aggravation). A person is “all choked up” when they are deeply moved by sadness or by the thoughtfulness of others.
- All Worked Up – A state of aggravation, anxiety, or agitation. Example: “There is no need to get yourself all worked up over a little accident.”
- Come Hell or High Water – Determination to do something. Example: I’m going to catch that criminal come hell or high water!
- Tan Your Hide – To give someone a spanking or beating. Example: That child was having a conniption! Someone needed to tan his hide.
- One-legged Man at a Butt-kicking Contest – Not equipped for the task at hand.
- Long-tailed Cat in a Room Full of Rocking Chairs – Nervous.
- A Gnat in a Hail Storm – Not much chance at survival.
- Rode Hard and Put Up Wet – A tired individual who looks somewhat the worse for wear. Refers back to horses that were not taken care of well.
- Beat You Like a Rented Mule – Obviously you don’t want this to happen.
- Whole Nuther Thing – Something else entirely. Usually used to denote another story there isn’t time to relate. Example: I was down at the grocery store when I ran into my neighbor. He’s got this annoying dog, but that’s a whole nuther thing…”
- Plum Wore Out – Fatigued, exhausted; also sometimes used for “worn out” machinery, etc. Example: “After a long hard day I’m plum wore out.”
- All Hat and No Cattle – All show and no go… all talk and no action.
- This Ain’t My First Rodeo – I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve been around a while. Experienced.
- If it was a snake it’d have jumped up and bit ya – An item “hidden” in plain sight.
- 6 of One, Half Dozen of the Other – Makes no difference. Six eggs is the same as a half dozen. It’s all the same to me.
If you aren’t the brightest bulb in the drawer you might get called:
- Dumber than dirt
- Dumb as a box of rocks
- Dumb as a box of hammers
- Not the sharpest tool in the shed
If you can’t be trusted you might be:
- Crooked as a dog’s hind leg
- Crooked as a barrel of snakes
If you’re attractive you might be:
- Cute as a possum.
Last night I was fixin some grub. It was gettin late and I was already plum wore out, but I had promised to grill up some steaks for supper so, come hell or high water, I was gonna get it done.
As I was preppin the meat I turned on the idiot box. It was playin’ some talk show and there was a woman having a conniption because her boyfriend was trying to get her to fess up that she was carrying some other man’s baby. This woman was fit to be tied and started tanning the boyfriend’s hide when the host stepped in and tried to tell her there was no need to get all worked up.
Well, that threw her into a real hissy fit and then they had about as much chance as a knat in a hailstorm of calming her down.
Directly, they brought out the results of one of those paternity tests and that woman looked as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. And with good reason because it turned out that baby belonged to some other guy.
At this point she got all choked up and the boyfriend was aggrivated and started threatening to beat her like a rented mule before he finally he lit out. By the time it was all over she looked like she’d been rode hard and put up wet.
Now if you ask me, it’s sad because she was cute as a possum but crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Anyway, the whole bunch of em were dumb as a box of hammers.
10 Texas Sayings
- There’s two theories to arguin’ with a woman. Neither one works.
- It’s so hot, the trees are bribing the dogs.
- Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back in.
- If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
- If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
- Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
- If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
- Don’t squat with your spurs on.
- It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep
- Always drink upstream from the herd.
- Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Ok. There’s always one more in Texas. :-) If you’ve got more, feel free to add them below!
Finally, you never have to ask a man if he’s from Texas. If he is, he’ll tell you on his own. If he ain’t, well, there’s no need to embarrass him.