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Speaking The Lingo In Texas

Updated on February 27, 2014

Real Texas Cowboys

Just Bumpin Our Gums

I read a purdy good Hub a while ago, about slang here in the Lone Star State, and I thought to myself, "Huh? Maybe I can help to educate folks that ain't from our neck of the woods on the way Texans really do talk." 'Cause we may sound funny to outsiders, but we got more'n our heads than hay seed. By a long shot!

Now, alot of folks in Texas like to ratchet jaw. That's for sure. Oh we can put on our high faluttin' manners and speech when the case calls for it. But just sittin' around with friends and famly, we get purdy relaxed vocally. And I'll be the first to admit, at times some folks get as nervous as a chicken laying it's first egg when they have to carry on a conversation with people from Chicago or Minnesota. But it's mainly on'a count'a we don't know what thur saying!

I just want to set a few thangs straight. That's why I decided to saddle up the computer this mornin' and write about it. Yeah... we sometimes drop the endin' sound of a word. All those "g"s and "d"s get in the way sometimes. Cain't help that!

We got a few sayins that might sound funny to other folks, but we know what were talking about. So all ya'll non-Texans, just hear me out. That way if and when ya'll come to our fair state, we can all understand each other and get along.

If somethin is settin on imagination, it's about to fall off. Like a glass of water too close to the edge of a table. Just an example...

Now... if someone tells you that a certain thang is gonna happen drekely, that can mean anytime from now to kigdom come. Don't thank just 'cause it sounds like directly, that it means directly. It possibly means any whur batween a few minuets to a few hours. Maybe before dark. But it could be next week. So hold your horses, and don't jump the gun. If you need more specifics, just ask. But good luck on nailiin' it down. It's best just to kick back and get ready to chew the fat. Okay?

All righty! Whut's nex? I really wont to do my best to help all ya'll planning on coming to Texas for a visit, or to live here, on how to understan us. Most times we can sooner or later figger out what ya'll're sayin. But ya'll don't always get our drift.

Go find yourself a coffee shop, cafe, or other place whur you can meet local folks and just shoot the breeze. Don't pick out some ol' soured up watermelon farmer that just wants to keep on 'n on about the drought. He ain't gonna teach you much about thangs 'cept his lack of control over the weather.

Don't pick a yung person, unless they got mud on thur boots. 'Cause alot of yung folks now days are tryin real hard to sound like they grew up somewhur else. Go figger...

Anyhow, just pick a spot whur you can listen to the locals and ease into it. If you pee all over yourself trying to get involved, they might thank you're nuts. Be frienly, smile, and laugh at all the jokes. (Even if you don't know Aggies from kiss my foot). Texans can smell somebody that don't know "come 'ere" from "sic 'em" from a mile up wind" But you'll get credit for bein game.

Once you get to feeling comfortable, you can start to take the bull by the horns. But start slow. Don't go in guns blazing, telling folks that if you say a rooster'er pull a freight train they can hook 'im up, unless you got the video to prove it. And never, NEVER say "you all" unless you're talkin about a whole bunch ! It's better to say "all ya'll" to the ones in hearing distance. "You all" implies a wannabee. A poser. A... well... a... a dummy, to put it blank.

If you slip up and rile some ol' red neck hick that thanks your kind needs to high tail it back the way you come from, and he or she (yes, red necks come in both genders) spout off and say something like, "I'm fixin to stomp a mud hole in you"... That can be a serious threat. Proceed with caution. On the other hand, 'bout the time your eyes get big as saucers, the red neck may bust up laughing. You just never know.

If a Texan invites you to go huntin, find out before you load up to go, whut you're huntin for. Don't ever, EVER go snipe huntin. This night time sport is mostly reserved for pre-adolescent boys to put a little hair on thur chest. But it has been known to be a funless go 'round for out'a staters. If you notice your new buddies have more'n two six packs, a toe sack, a whistle, and no guns, and you go on with 'em... you're gonna find yourself alone in B.F.E. holdin a toe sack and blowin a whistle. By yourself. In the dark. They'll set off in the distance drinkin beer, and makin fun of the "yankee". Yeah, even if you're from California, you're a yankee. It's just a fact. And I personally doubt thur's a snipe one in Texas. So you been told.

Don't fiddle 'round with a Texan's stuff if you ain't invited. Especially in a poker game. If the person nex to you has a stack of chips two foot high, and it falls over into your space... let 'em lay. If you happen to notice the purdeist yellow roses this side of the Red River, don't even thank about pickin one of 'em. On the other han, if you tell a Texan, "Boy hidi! I sure wish I had a yellow rose", thur lible to pick you a bunch, feed you dinner (which is lunch, not to be confused with supper), and invite you to church next Sundee. Just don't get too big for your britches. And after the invite, you need to go ahead and invite them to somethin too. It don't matter what, 'cause nine outt'a ten times they'll turn you down the first three or four times. They ain't unfrienly most times. They just don't wont to get a runnin back and forth invitational goin with someone they ain't too sure about. Don't take it hard, and if you really wanna make friends, keep at it.

Most real Texans don't wear big ol' cowboy hats. When you see a cowboy wearin his hat, chaps, and spurs in the store, he probly grew up somewhur else. 'Cause no self respectin Texas mama let her kid in the front door with his or her spurs on to scratch up the floor she just mopped, waxed, or vaccuumed. A real Texan takes his or her spurs off and puts 'em in the tack room, tack bag, tool box, glove box, or somewhur before goin inside. And they sure don't drive with 'em on! I mean it just ain't mannerly to wear 'em like that. Texans don't have to show off, and they know it.

I worked at a saddle shop a few years back, and the owner also ran the Saturdee horse sale across the highway. People would come from all over to auction off horses or bid on 'em. I would generally hot foot it over to see what kind of horses were coming in for the day, and grab me a Frito Pie with extra onions.

Well... the boss man had hired a kiddo from parts unknown to work the back side. You know? Puttin horses in stalls, and givin 'em water. The kid had been in the store earlier that morning and bought his self a pair of sure 'nough bull ridin spurs and some purdy, hand tooled leathers. When he put 'em on tho, he put the buckles on the inside of his ankles. I said somethin like, "Son, the buckles go on the outside of your feet." He told me he liked 'em the way he had 'em. I told him to suit his self.

Later I scooted across the road and was lookin at the fresh horse flesh when I noticed a stud horse tryin to climb out of his (pipe rail) pen to get to the mare, that was in season, in the pen next to 'im. Well... I found the boss man had told 'im the situation... didn't want the stud to break a leg or nothin. So he told the new kid to move that stud. The kid moved 'im alright. To the pen on the other side of the same mare!

Poor kid. He was still wet behind the ears. Last I saw of 'im, he was walkin down the highway, still wearing his spurs with the buckles facin in. Just sayin... Folks ain't always whut they're cracked up to be here in Texas. Thur's alot of wannabee goat ropers.

Whut else? Don't never be ashamed of whur you come from! Us Texans understan you got here just as quick as you could. But we'd all appreciate it if you quit complainin about how hot the chilie is when you asked for extra peppers in the first place. And that's just how the cow eat the cabbage.

We wont you to fit in and feel at home. But know your limits. It ain't our first rodeo with outsiders. Don't whip a horse 'til it dies, first rattle outta the box. We don't like that! So don't bust outta the shoot on thangs. Like, if you been drivin a two door compact car all your life, don't get here and buy a big ol' 4x4 truck with a lift kit, and start runnin over people. Please. It won't make us like you.

I acquired an 8 year ol' mare once, sight unseen. A transplant 'burbannite come to Texas and bought his family a 10 acre "ranchette", a couple a longhorn steers, and the horse for his little girl. On the phone he said the horse was "too much horse" for his little girl. He said she was a prudy white horse. No papers. So I said "Okay." I figgered if she was rank, I could unlaod her at the horse sale, and keep a kid from getting hurt. He would trailer her over.

When he showed up, and I saw that horse, I asked point blank what he had been feedin 'er. For those of ya'll who don't get how to feed a horse, just know he was over feedin 'er by about 4 times too much, basides 'er bein on 10 acers of coastal grass. Mercy! That was the fattest horse I had ever seen in my born days! She had at least four inches of fat under'er mane, and no withers at all! When you put a saddle on 'er it just rolled.

I knew right off the bat 'er main problum was gettin 'er head outta the bucket. She was gentle as a lamb. But she wudn't white. She was what is known as a flea bit gray. Black skin, white coat, with flecks of brown and black hid here and there. I kept 'er a long time, and she throwed me a purdy little filly that turnned into a real good horse too. I called the mama Bitsy Boo, 'cause she rode with just a halter and reins clipped to the sides. She didn't need to take a bit. But it took me about 8 months to get her down to a good weight.

You just never know about a rooster carryin a butcher knife! But I knew when I talked to that man on the phone he was a yankee. I believe he said he was from a city up in Idaho to start with.

Alot of folks come to Texas and want to rough it. If you're here to camp, please don't build a great big ol' fire and stand way back from it. Build yourself a little bitty fire and hunker up close to it. We save big fires for homecoming at the high school.

If you're here for a visit, come back when you can stay longer. But don't let the door knob hit you whur the dog should'a bit you, on the way back across the state line either. But be advised.... once you get here, you just might want to nail your feet to the ground. And if you stay long a 'nugh, you'll figger out what were talkin 'bout.

Not A Real Texas Cowboy


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