Texan Accents Vary
I love how accents and slang vary throughout the USA, so, for me, that aspect of moving to Texas has been a real treat.
Of course, since Texas is such a big place, there is no one official Texan accent. Think for a moment of how different Tommie Lee Jones, Billy Bob Thornton and H. Ross Perot sound from one another even though they are all Texan natives. (And what’s with their three-piece names? Maybe that’s a Texan thing. I will have to look into that. Ooh – Lyndon B. Johnson, there’s another!)
My Favorite Texas Idioms
I realize that some of the following may occur in places beyond Texas, but here’s a list of things that really stand out to my ears since moving here:
Y’all: OK, this one definitely occurs all throughout the south, but I wanted to mention it because I am a big fan of the word, “y’all.” People often make fun of this little word, but it serves a grammatical purpose. It gives a plural of the pronoun, “you,” which can really help clarify things. Also, most other languages have a plural for the word you. (I could go on, but I’ll leave that for another post.)
Coke: It took me a while to realize that when you go over to someone’s house and they offer you a coke, they are not necessarily referring to Coca Cola. Here in Texas, “coke” is synonymous with any soda drink, and can refer to everything from rootbeer to ginger ale.
(On the other hand, coke never refers to Dr. Pepper. Every Texan knows what that is. Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco, Texas and folks around here drink it by the gallon. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t see a bottle or can of the stuff.)
Bubba: Up north, I occasionally heard the word, “bubba,” used as a put down. Here in Texas, however, I hear guys use it as an affectionate endearment, much the way my Yankee pals call each other, “dude.” It’s a casual way to greet someone you are on friendly terms with.
This ain’t my first rodeo: This phrase is perfect for moments when a person starts instructing you on how to do something you are very experienced at. Let’s say you are a tailor and someone starts telling you how to thread a needle. Here in Texas, you’d say, “Bubba, this ain’t my first rodeo!” to let them know their advice is unneeded.
Fixing to: When someone nags you to do the dishes, and while you haven’t yet washed them, you sincerely plan to, all you have to do here in Texas is say, “I’m fixing to do the dishes,” and you are off the hook. (After snickering over this one for a couple years, I caught the phrase by contagion and have used it a time or to myself.)
Might could: The phrase, “might could,” really snagged my ears the first few times I heard it, but now I know it’s simply a Texan way of saying maybe. In fact, “might could,” is even better than maybe. From what I’ve seen, when someone tells you they, “might could,” do something for you, it means that they sincerely would like to if they can find a way (at which point, of course, they’d be fixing to do it!)
What’s Your Favorite Regional Slang?
Those are just a few phrases that were new to me since I moved to Texas in 2009. I’m sure there are lots more out there that I haven’t heard yet. Do you know of any? What interesting phrases do people use where you live?
More A to Z blog posts
This was my post for the letter I of the A to Z blogging challenge. Tune in tomorrow to see what quirky Texan thing the letter J will bring!
In the meantime, click on this link to find out what other A to Z blogging challenge folks are writing about.