Saturday, July 26, 2014


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?


  1. Funny after almost 40 years outta Texas ...I still use a number of those phrases. Thanks for reminding me of my roots.

  2. I'll share a few from my husband. He was raised by grandparents with Oklahoma-Arkansas roots who were transplanted to California's Central Valley. I don't know what region should get the credit:

    In a hot second - faster than fast
    I didn't stutter - I mean exactly what I just said.
    Happier than a pig in slop - very happy.
    Thought he had cut a fat hog - thought he was getting a great deal, or the better end of a deal.

  3. Caroline-I think you covered all the ones I know.
    A little bit of difference in yours:
    She looks like she's been pulled through the bushes backward.
    Rode hard, and put up muddy.
    A little ways down the road.

    I don't hear these things much anymore because of so many newcomers to the state and our fair city of San Marcos. I think there is somewhat of a sophistication uptick in our population.
    Good or bad...not saying.

  4. I love this post, Caroline. I'm sure gonna come back and check it out for future stories! I'm from California and I guess the biggie here is, dude. And I saw it all the time myself LOL. And I don't know if this colloquial or not but I think "don't get your thong in a knot" is a hoot. Especially since that's the most uncomfortable undergarment in the WORLD.



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