My dad was a stickler for proper speech. He said, and rightfully so, that people judge you by your speech. If you’ve lived in one area most of your life, you can spot a newcomer not only by the sound of his or her voice, but also by the phrases and words used. In Texas, which is where I grew up and currently live, we have a lot of, um, I’ll say unusual phrases and words.
We never say “Forgetaboutit” unless we’ve been around someone from the Northeast—or watched one of the movies like “Mickey Blue Eyes” that use the phrase. Texas is part of the Southwest but also part of the South. We don’t use the F or S word as freely as those in some parts of the country—at least the people with whom I socialize don’t use them. In general, men don't curse in front of women.
Texas is known as the friendly state. We look passersby in the eye and smile and/or offer a greeting. Like most Southerners, we value smiles and good manners. We may still stab you in the back, but we will do so graciously and with a polite smile. ☺
Recently, I was reminded of some of our unusual words by another author at a critique meeting. I’ll share that one and others with you now that are currently in use.
Usage of these words/phrases may depend partially on whether you live in a rural or urban area.
|The Brazos River runs a fur piece.|
Helping my plate – taking a serving of food and placing it on my plate.
Fixin’ to – I will in a minute.
Fixin’ to get ready to start – I’m not feeling peppy, but I’ll get it done as soon as I can force myself to stand.
Bless your heart – usually means you are too stupid to live and I feel so sorry for you.
Blessings – means the literal bless your heart
Nothing but a barbed wire fence between here and the North Pole – that north wind is freezing me
Gonna – going to
Gotta – I have to
Hafta – same as gotta
Fur piece – a long way
|Yonder are some trees in those bluebonnets|
Yonder – not a long way, you can probably see it from here
Rode hard and put up wet - that is not a nice woman and she looks easy
|Roadrunner or chapparal near our old home|
Some think they're only in cartoons
Pulled backwards through a knot hole - I feel terrible today
He isn't worth the bullet it would take to shoot him - The subject is worthless
These are only a few of our peculiar colloquialisms.
What are some colloquialisms from your part of the country?