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15 Expressions You Need to Learn Before Coming to Texas

by Turner Wright Jan 27, 2017

1. Y’all

The most quintessential Texas expression is nothing more than a contraction for “you all”. Nevertheless, you will be lost in the Lone Star State without it.

Synonyms: you all, you guys

2. Git r done

This isn’t so much a call to get things done as it is to acknowledge a job well done, or well on its way to being finished. For example, if you just spent the afternoon mowing the lawn, all sweaty from the raging Texas heat, any passersby would be justified in saying “git r done!” Your child picks up her diploma? “GITRDONE!”

Synonyms: well done, good job, keep it up

3. Dad gum it

Texans can swear and invoke deities with the best of the, but that doesn’t mean we won’t use our southern charm in lieu of crasser language from time to time. You just locked your keys in your car in the 100+ degree heat? Dad gum it!

Synonyms: any swear word

4. Fixin’ tuh

You don’t even need a subject when you’re fixing to do something in Texas. You’re on the verge of doing something when you use this classic expression.
“Are you going to make dinner?”
“Fixin’ tuh.”

Synonyms: I’m going to do it, I’m about to do something

5. Right quick

There’s no need for adverbs when you talk Texan. Why do Americans need to speak so fancy with their “ly”s and prepositions? If you get an emergency call from a friend in the middle of the night, the only acceptable response is: “I’ll be there right quick.”

Synonyms: quickly, in a hurry

6. Conniption fit

If you’re in a foul mood or all the problems of the world are piling up, you might be prime for a conniption fit. Someone raced in front of you and took your parking space? Conniption fit. Your boss asks you to stay late? Screw you guys, I’m going home right quick.

Synonyms: anger, panic

7. All hat, no cattle

The south may boast expressions like “you’re dumber than a sack o’ potatoes”, but Texans reserve their potatoes for eating with a nice juicy steak. Instead, if we see someone doing something foolish, he’s worthy of calling “all hat, no cattle” or quoting Bill Engvall.

Synonyms: here’s your sign, stupid

8. Ain’t

When you’re too lazy to speak in formal contractions, ain’t is your kind of word. “He isn’t busy today”? You clearly had time to use an extra syllable.

Synonyms: aren’t, isn’t

9. Sho’ nuff

This can be used to express an obvious agreement — e.g. “Hot today, ain’t it?” “Sho’nuff.” – or to beef up a description of something: “El Paso is sho’nuff far from here.”

Synonyms: sure enough, very

10. Bless your heart

Texans have a mastery of insulting you while making you think you’ve been complimented. “Bless your/his/her heart” is the best example of this. Has someone just let his dog do his business on your lawn? Oh, bless his heart!

Synonyms: f%$@ you, screw you

11. I reckon

In other words, I think something is going to happen, or I believe something to be true.

“Is the bus that goes downtown?”
“I reckon so.”

Synonyms: I think, I guess

12. Wangs

As the dad joke goes:

“M R Ducks.”
“M R Not.”
“S M R. C M Wangs?”
“L I B. M R Ducks”

Whether you’re ordering buffalo wangs or buying an engagement rang, Texans follow their own rules when it comes to pronouncing vowels.

Synonyms: wings

13. Tuckered out

As in, “I just worked a 14-hour shift and am all tuckered out.” You can use this expression to describe anyone or any animal after a long period of stress or activity.

Synonyms: tired, beat

14. Over Yonder

“Where’s your dog? Oh, I see him over yonder.” Texas is uniquely qualified to use this expression because we’re so dad gum big we need extra words to describe distance.

Synonyms: out that way, over there

15. You’ve gotta know when hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em

There are plenty of life lessons to be taken from poker, and Texas Hold ‘em is no different. The game laid the groundwork for expressions like “hold ‘em or fold ‘em”, but Kenny Rogers’ song made them come to life.

Synonyms: know when to stand your ground, know when to walk away

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