Welcome to Texas! We have visitors in town right now from Germany, England, and Italy and just about everybody they have met here so far has welcomed them with a friendly Welcome to Texas, y’all! Once again I am reminded that Texans really are a very friendly bunch – and of course Texans first and Americans second. I am really grateful that my adopted home for the past seven years has made my friends and family feel so welcome here! By the way, this friendliness should get its own post in my Only in Texas series 😉
Between getting my sister addicted to Sonic Cherry Limeades, touring West Texas, eating way too many burgers, steaks, and Tex-Mex, we’ve also discussed how to talk like a Texan. Want to learn how to speak Texan yourself? Here’s a little introduction for you.
- Howdy = hello. This comes more natural for some people than others. Most people “in the city” really only use it when they want to sound Texan on purpose. If you hear it, it will probably be in combination with another very popular Texas expression (y’all), as in Howdy y’all!
- (All) y’all = you. This is by far the most common! If you want to use “you” to adress more than one person, you need to add at least one, preferably two “all”, as is (all) y’all. Say you want to find out about this evening’s plan. Turn to the group of people you are talking to and you could say something like So, what are all y’all doin’ tonight?
- Coke = any kind of soda. This one is less intuitive, or at least it is to me. I’ve actually ordered a coke before and was asked what kind I wanted. I was a little perplexed because I assumed “coke” = “Coca Cola”. Apparently, that doesn’t have to be the case. So, if you have people over and they ask Do you have any cokes? they probably want to know if you have any sodas and what kind.
- I’m fixin’ to do something = I intend/am getting ready to do something. This one is almost as common as y’all. At first, I didn’t really get it. Like, what do you have to fix? But you hear it often enough around here, so I’ve gotten used to it. Of course “fixing” can be used as “I’m fixing myself a salad”, but when used in combination with another verb, it means that you’re getting ready to do something. An example? Somebody calls you to ask if you’re on your way. You could answer No, but I’m fixin’ to leave now. Makes sense?
I’ll throw one of the more common Texas idioms in here for free. These idioms will get their own post one day 🙂 So, do you really wanna talk like a Texan? Then try throwing This ain’t my first rodeo!* at your conversation buddy next time they try to explain something to you that you already know. Say, you’re having a BBQ and somebody keeps trying to explain to you how to grill your steak. This would be a great opportunity to turn around and say This ain’t my first rodeo, buddy! Depending on how serious you can manage to get that one out, you might get a few laughs or they’ll just quietly wonder where you learned you to speak Texan 🙂
Want more conversational Texas expressions? Check out the first post I wrote about how I learned to blend in here: Do You Speak Texan?
So, my Texan friends, did I forget anything? Got anything wrong? Chime in with comments below!
*Thanks to Austin, our BBQ buddy, for reminding me of this fun expression. I hadn’t heard it in a while 🙂
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