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Ramblings of a Native Speaker

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catsarepretty

Canada

March 7, 2008
Viewed 72769 times.

I found a list of Texas slang words and idioms on a site from Rice University (http://www.rice.edu/armadillo/Texas/talk.html).  I am originally from Texas, but I grew up near one of the big cities so I didn't hear or use as much slang as one would hear out in the country.  Below is the list, and the words/idioms that I use on a regular basis are in bold (my own comments have a *star by them):

aggravated
used to describe everything from mild annoyance to murderous rage. Usually pronounced "agger-vated."
 
*I hear people from all over the US say this word, but typically in Texas everyone (including myself) says "aggervated" 
all swole up
an alternative to aggravated, but sometimes carries connotations of being obstinate, proud and self-abosorbed, in addition to being aggravated.
all choked up
upset, overcome with emotions (other than aggravation). A person is usually "all choked up" when they are deeply moved by sadness or by the thoughtfulness of others.
all worked up
in a state of aggravation, arousal of some type, in a state of deeply offended pride, offended sensibilities, in a state of anxiety, etc. Agitated.
Arbuckle
a synonym for coffee, when the Arbuckle brand was virtually the only one available.
ball
usually means football.
 
*also common with baseball in the springtime 
blinky
adjective used to describe milk that has begun to sour.
blue norther
storm that comes up as a giant, blue-black cloud of cold air comes over the warm gulf air and "just about freezes us to death!" Rain and wind may accompany the black cloud.
catty whompus
used to describe something that doesn't fit properly or is out of line.
 
*side note: my grandparents use to have a cat named Whompus* 
clabber milk
butter milk
come hell or high water
shows determination to proceed, regardless of the problems, obstacles, etc.
conniptions
to have conniptions is to get upset and raise a ruckus.
crusty
tough and/or bad tempered man, woman or horse.
dad blame it, dad gum it, dag nab it
 euphemisms coined to allow expressive speech without swearing.
 
*I say this all the time!  it's typically what I say if I either made a mistake or I am frustrated about something.  Most commonly I will say "dadgummit!" or "dagnabbit!"
dinner
depending on the day, this can be the noontime meal or the evening meal.
 
*This isn't exclusively Texan.  I always call the evening meal "dinner" and the mid-day meal "lunch" no matter what the day of the week is (on Sundays many people call the midday meal "dinner" and the evening meal "supper") 
eat up
eaten up, destroyed, oxidized.
fess up
admit.
 
*the word "fess" is short for confess
 
fit to be tied
really upset.
fixins
food; the rest of the meal, excluding the main dish.
fixin' to
getting ready to do something.
 
*I use this one all the time too!  If I am about to go to the grocery store, I'll say "I'm fixin to go to the store." 
frog-strangler
an extraordinary amount of rain.
galoot
an old cowboy term meaning "old rascal." It's generally meant affably.
go ahead on
"You go ahead, I'll catch up later."
go to the house
go in for dinner/supper, depending on the day.
gully-washer
an extraordinary amount of rain.
hissy fit
This term was never actually defined, but I get the impression it's a state of extreme agitation and not a pretty thing to see.
 
*my definition: when things don't go the way someone wants to, and they begin angrily pouting and complaining about the situation.  It's most common to see children and teenagers throw hissy fits.  The closest synonym that I can think of is a "temper tantrum"
howdy
How do you do?
 
*I usually only use it if I am trying to be funny by sounding "stereotypically Texan" to my friends who are not from Texas
i'll swan
used instead of "I swear."
larrupin'
a few fingers tastier than finger-lickin' good.
lit out
took off, started out, or absconded across some terrain.
looker
a pretty girl.
maverick
a loner, an independent cuss, wild. First used to describe cattle owned by Sam Maverick of Galveston Island. His cattle were "wild-like" and he'd swim them across West Bay and join up with the herd going north. When cattle broke the herd, the wranglers said, "That's one of Maverick's."
norther
a storm; not as bad as a blue norther.
nu-uh
no.
 
*I use this just about as much as "no", but I spell it "nuh uh" 
ole cuss
and old rascal (or galoot) who is tough and/or bad-tempered.
over yonder
a directional phrase meaning "over there."
 
*I hear this more in North Carolina than I do in Texas 
over in through there, also: you go up in through there.
Directional phrase; one I'm told foreigners (read: anybody except a Texan) have trouble understanding.
 
*I've used this a few times and it makes perfect sense to me 
place
an individual's farm or ranch.
 
*usually I say "place" if I am referring to someone's house since most of my friends don't live on farms or ranches 
plug
common mutt horse.
plug-ugly
see above. This is definitely not a compliment, and should not be treated as such.
pole-axed
knocked down, smashed flat, with dramatic force.
post oak
wood that is hard and resistant to rot and can be used for fenceposts.
ridin' high
doin' aw'right; probably a reference to the quality of horse you are riding. If you're poor, you ride a burro (short) or a plug. If you're wealthy, you might ride a thoroughbred or Tennessee Walker; therefore, you're ridin' high.
shoot!
an expletive (should be used with an exclamation point).
 
*If I messed something up or forgot something I will say "dadgummit!", "dagnabbit!", or "oh, shoot!" 
slaunchways
a piece of wood that is cut on an angle is cut slaunchways.
sorry
a particularly important Texas adjective meaning worthless, no-count, useless, bad. Enhanced inflection makes it more emphatic.
 
*Example: "That is a really sorry excuse for not showing up last night."
squaddies (or is that quaddies?)
cowboys. This was a very common term in the 19th century.
supper
Once again, depending on the day, this can be either the noon or the evening meal.
 
*I never use this, but my dad sometimes will and my grandparents did. 
sweet milk
milk that tastes good.
turd-floater
a very heavy downpour.
 
*Don't ever use this unless you want someone to think you are crude. 
taken to
began, adapted, started liking. Use #l: He's taken to drinking." Use #2: She's taken to that new job of hers right off."
tank
pond
the friendly creature
19th century term for whiskey.
truck
food
tump
to spill or dump
 
*one of my coworkers says this all the time, but I've never used it 
walkin' in tall cotton
doin' aw'right (see ridin' high)
waller
as far as I can tell, this is an extremely useful, if somewhat vague verb of many uses. It's usually used as a past participle. "The wheel was wallered out." or "The Dillo List wallered down an gave that little nawthun lady a bunch of Texas Tawk."
whole nuther thing
soemthing else entirely
 
*"nuther" is a variation of the word "another".  The reason the spelling is changed to a u instead of an o is because it sounds more like a u then an o when pronounced 
whomperjawed
when something is not fitting properly, e.g., "You'll never get that wine open, the corkscrew is all whomperjawed!"
wore out
fatigued, exhausted; also sometimes used for "worn out" machinery, etc.
 
*I say "worn out".  It sounds less redneck when you say "worn" instead of "wore".  I always use this when I am really tired after doing a lot of work.  I will say "I am all worn out!" 
 
 
Here are a few that are also common that were not on the list:
 
y'all/yall: 
This is short for "you all" and refers to a group of people.  It's not a proper English contraction but it might as well be in Texas (and in other places in the southern US) because everyone including myself uses it.
 
Ex: Have yall heard about this really awesome website called Englishbaby.com?   
 
coke 
 
This may be confusing, but in Texas "coke" can be a general term to refer to any kind of soft drink.  It doesn't just refer to Coca-Cola (which is also called "Coke" here).  Here is a sample conversation at a restaurant:
 
Waitress: What would you like to drink?
Person: I'd like a coke please
Waitress: What kind would you like?  We have Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi... 
Person: I'll have a Pepsi.
 
This is not just a Texas thing (like many of these words).  It's also common in places all over the Southeastern US.  In fact, here's a map that has the most common names in the US used to refer to soft drinks:
 
http://fallenangel.furtopia.org/JUNK/total-county.gif 
 
Hope this was useful for someone! 
 

More entries: Texas Slang/Idioms (6)

View all entries from Ramblings of a Native Speaker >

01:35 PM Oct 14 2010

jeannew77
United States

My boyfriend is from Cleburne, Texas and I am from Minnesota.  One thing he says that we don't say here in MN is "Put it up" which means to clean something up or put something away.  Another variation is to "Plug it up" which means to plug something in, i.e. he will say "My phone is dead, I need to plug it up." Of course, he and his TX friends make fun of the way I talk too but there is nothing wrong with the way I talk, yah know.   

06:47 PM Nov 16 2009

Texas Twang
United States

 hissy-fit = temper-tantrum = child crying and hiting and breaking things while angry

09:11 PM Mar 04 2009

reggie53
United States

Enjoyed your site.

 

It's obvious you do "know come here from sic'em" about Texas talkin'.

 

Now I'm "not the sharpest tool in the shed" but I want to give you somethin' to "chew on" a "skohsh"....the definition of catty whompus is fine..(i.e. used to describe something that doesn't fit properly or is out of line)


But whomperjawed (if I had my druthers) should mean"real catty whompus"


Something can be catty whompus and it may not be a big deal ,but if it's way out of line, it would be plum whomperjawed.

08:09 AM May 16 2008

rickybobby
United States

You left out one of the most important Texas sayings (and was born and raised here):

 

 Appreshate ya!

 

(as in 'I appreciate what you did for me' or 'I can appreciate what you are doing', or simply 'thank you').

 

Ricky Bobbee 

10:05 AM Mar 30 2008

prvorter
United States

I love this article.i am writing a book and the slangs came in good. thanks a lot! Good job!

10:33 AM Mar 07 2008

tohid68

tohid68
Iran, Islamic Republic Of

yes

very goooooooooooooood