Friday, May 30, 2008


Did you know that Texan is a language in and of itself? Take the verb "fixin'" for instance. It means I'm getting ready as in, "I'm fixin' to go to the store" or "I'm fixin' to make dinner." This is what I'm fixin' to get for my anniversary:

You can get one for yourself here.

Some other Texan terms you might want to know: (I gathered these from various places, but I only included the ones I knew first hand.)

aggravated: used to describe everything from mild annoyance to dangerous, murderous rage. Usually pronounced "agger-vated."
all swole up: an alternative to aggravated, but sometimes carries connotations of being obstinate, proud and self-abosorbed, in addition to being aggravated.
all choked up: upset, overcome with emotions (other than aggravation). A person is usually "all choked up" when they are deeply moved by sadness or by the thoughtfulness of others.
all worked up: in a state of aggravation, arousal of some type, in a state of deeply offended pride, offended sensibilities, in a state of anxiety, etc. Agitated.
blue norther: storm that comes up as a giant, blue-black cloud of cold air comes over the warm gulf air and "just about freezes us to death!" Rain and wind may accompany the black cloud.
catty whompus: used to describe something that doesn't fit properly or is out of line.
come hell or high water: shows determination to proceed, regardless of the problems, obstacles, etc.
conniptions: to have conniptions is to get upset and raise a ruckus.
crusty: tough and/or bad tempered man, woman or horse.
dad blame it, dad gum it, dag nab it: euphamisms coined to allow expressive speech without swearing.
eat up: eaten up, destroyed, oxidized. You can also be eat up with bug bites.
fess up: admit.
fit to be tied: really upset.
fixins: food; the rest of the meal, excluding the main dish. You might say you were having chicken and fixins for dinner.
frog-strangler: an extraordinary amount of rain.
go ahead on: "You go ahead on, I'll catch up later."
gully-washer: an extraordinary amount of rain, not quite as much as a frog-strangler.
hissy fit: a state of extreme agitation and not a pretty thing to see
howdy: How do you do?
I'll swan or I'll swanny: used instead of "I swear."
lit out: took off, started out, or absconded across some terrain.
looker: a pretty girl.
norther: a storm; not as bad as a blue norther.
nu-uh: no.
ole cuss: and old rascal (or galoot) who is tough and/or bad-tempered.
over yonder: a directional phrase meaning "over there."
over in through there, also: you go up in through there: Directional phrase; one I'm told foreigners (read: anybody except a Texan) have trouble understanding.
post oak: wood that is hard and resistant to rot and can be used for fenceposts.
ridin' high: doin' aw'right
shoot: an expletive (should be used with an exclamation point).
sorry: a particularly important Texas adjective meaning worthless, no-count, useless, bad. sweet milk: regular milk (not buttermilk)
taken to: began, adapted, started liking. Use #l: He's taken to drinking." Use #2: She's taken to that new job of hers right off."
tump: to spill or dump
walkin' in tall cotton: doin' aw'right (see ridin' high)
whole nuther thing: something else entirely
whomperjawed: when something is not fitting properly, e.g., "You'll never get that wine open, the corscrew is all whomperjawed!"
wore out: fatigued, exhausted

You don't want to hear a Texan say you're:

  • ugly as a mud fence
  • ugly as homemade sin
  • ugly as homemade soap
  • dumber than dirt
  • older than two trees
  • like ugly on an ape
  • dumb as a box of rocks
  • crooked as a dog's hind leg
  • crooked as a barrel of snakes
  • dumb as a box of hammers

These are good things to hear a Texan say:

  • You're cute as a possum.
  • You're tough as a boot.

Other Texan similes:

  • He beat him like a red-headed stepchild. (Ouch!)
  • Hidden in the basement like a crazy aunt.
  • Fine as frog's hair.
  • Cold as a well digger's lunch pail. (or belt buckle, or some anatomical part)
  • Look at somebody/something like a calf looks at a new gate. (With either confusion or dismay, maybe?)

Texas Sayings
What's a Texas Saying? Why, it's something they say in Texas, a course! Some of these "sayings" might be considered adages, and some are just ... well, sayings, I guess. Judge for yourself:

  • "Never ask a man if he's from Texas. If he is, he'll tell you on his own. If he ain't, no need to embarrass him."
  • "The Lord never closes one door without opening another one."
  • "Evil thoughts are like chickens--they come home to roost."
  • "You can always tell a Texan, but you can't tell him much."
  • "I want you to jump when I say frog."
  • "If you've done it, it ain't braggin'."
  • "That's tellin' him how the cow ate the cabbage."
  • "You done stopped preachin' and gone to meddlin'." (You're sticking your nose into my business, here, pal.)
So when you read my blog and I say "I'm fixin to work on a whole nuther thing" you'll know what I mean.


Diane Cardot said...

Thank you for the brief lesson on Texan. It was quite informative. This will be handy when I talk to my sister who lives there again.

Nikki said...

AWESOME! I'm not a Texan but I've heard or have used most all of those sayings...LOL!!!!!!!!