10 Texas Sayings That Are Quintessentially Texan

Here are 10 Texas sayings that every true-blue Texan knows by heart. Whether or not you’re a Texan, you’ve no doubt heard these iconic sayings. Go on and give it a read, and brush up on your Texan talk.

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.

1. Y’all

“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.)

2. Howdy

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.

10. Coke

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

Audrey Sellers is an award-winning, Dallas-based writer and editor with a background in marketing and promotions. She’s a former magazine editor turned blogger who’s a pro at crafting all kinds of engaging content: blog posts, case studies, feature stories, social media content, and more. When her fingers aren’t flying on her laptop, she’s busy not relaxing with her husband and two young kids.

5 Comments

  1. Dana Goodman
    January 6, 2017

    I love this. I just wish that I could copy and post it to Facebook!!!!! I have a few friends who live up North, in Maine. They give me crap about how I spell things like, I’m gonna…..

    Reply
    • Victoria Keichinger
      January 7, 2017

      Dana, there is a blue “share” button in the top right of this article that allows you to share this article on Facebook with one click. Glad you enjoyed the article!

      Reply
    • Sara lindley
      February 26, 2017

      Dana…howdy.
      I write books and believe me when i tell yah, I have people chew on me about my language like a piece of jerky.
      But it don’t mean squat. Even if you explained some of the idioms, they still would look at you like a calf at a new gate.
      Best to yah

      Sara

      Reply
  2. Ramona Rose
    January 27, 2017

    Enjoyed your post…born n raised east texas..whitton community( DUB-C)…canton texas van zandt co….traveled for 6 yrs all over the US..no matter where we went .an immediate focus on my drawel…usually identified as east tx even…I wanted to add to your post..open up a can a whup ass..carry something is toten it.

    Reply
  3. Vinesh Thakeree
    June 8, 2017

    I love everythin’ about Texas, and I’m South African.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Essential Nursery Room Ideas
Bringing Modern Bathroom Designs to Your DFW Home