6. Get used to usin’ The National Verb of Texas
In other places, people refer to doing something in the future as “going to do” something. In Texas, the one size fits all verb is “fixin’ to”. Use it without restraint and you’ll fit in with everyone from the East Texas bubbas to the North Texas dust bowl daddies.
“If you keep talkin’ back to your Mom like that, I’m fixin’ ta whoop you son.”
“I’m fixin’ to eat this entire bowl of chips and salsa by myself.”
7. Always be polite, even when you don’t want to
If someone tells you “bless your heart” in Texas, just know that they’re not exactly wishing for God’s blessings to come raining down upon you. Ya see, Texans like to mind our manners, including when we’re having a disagreement here and there. “Bless your heart” was invented for just that kind of situation. It’s a friendly way to say “go to hell”.
When it comes to just showin’ your overall dissatisfaction with a situation, the word dang is a good replacement for the word “damn”. It’s more polite, sounds more southern, and gets the point across just the same. Plus, it’s just fun to say.
“You don’t think very highly of me? Well bless your heart.”
“Dang! Somebody at all the chips and queso.”
8. Learn Spanglish
Texas is a giant melting pot of cultures, and one of the biggest contributors is Mexican/Tejano culture. If you memorize the words and phrases below, and sprinkle in English for the words you don’t know, you will have learned roughly the entire four year high school requirement of Spanish in Texas, aka Spanglish.
- Gracias – (grassy – ass) – Thank you
- Amigo – (ahh – me – go) – Friend
- Mañana – (mahn – ya – nah) – Tomorrow
- El Baño – (bahn – yo) – Bathroom
- Margarita – (mar – gar – eat – uh) – A delicious lime based concoction
- Cerveza – (ser – vay – sah) – Beer
- No – (noh) – No
“¿Donde esta el baño?”
Where is the bathroom?
“Uno mas cerveza por favor!”
Another beer please!
“Ya se fue. Estan ir al bowling alley.”
She already left. She’s going to the bowling alley.
“Ja ja ja”
Ha ha ha
9. Stop using the word “hi” when you say “hello”
You may or may not know this, but Howdy is a contraction of the words How Do You Do. It also just sounds a heck of a lot nicer without sounding too much like a Northerner. Anyway, we don’t really say “hi” or “hello” to anyone. Howdy should be substituted for any of those words.
10. Use metaphors to describe everything
Why describe things plainly when you can describe them using a mix of animals, nature, and other funny objects? Take for instance, the saying “all hat and no cattle.” That’s a much nicer way to say that someone is all talk. Here are a few more to add to your daily usage.
He’s swimmin’ in it.
She’d foul up a two car funeral procession.
She is error-prone.
Nobody ever drowned in sweat.
Hard work never killed anyone.
She’s got enough tongue for 10 rows of teeth.
She sure can talk a lot.
He was as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party.
He was unwelcome.
You can put boots in the oven, but it don’t make em biscuits.
Say what you will, but it won’t change the truth.
He looks like the dog’s been keepin’ him under the porch.
He’s not very good looking.
She was about as friendly as fire ants.
She was not friendly.
11. Forget everything you knew about how to pronounce words correctly
Because of the aforementioned melting pot nature of our great state, many of the words you see aren’t pronounced exactly as they look. We like to add letters that don’t exist, and drop others that do. Great examples are the following:
- Gruene – (gr – ee- n)
- Burnet – (burn – it)
- Refugio – (ref – ur – eeh – oh)
- Bexar – (bay – err)
- Kuykendahl – (ker – ken – dahl)
- Bowie – (Boo – eee)
- Boerne – (burn – knee)
- Waxahachie – (walks – uh – hatch – ee)
Congratulations! You’ve now completed your first lesson on how to speak Texan. Given enough time and alcohol, even you can begin to start sounding more Texan. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get the hang of it immediately. Native Texans won’t make fun of you. They’ll just respond with “you ain’t from around here are ya?”