“Bless Your Heart”. Five Unique Phrases Exclusive To Texas.
Moving around a lot as a kid has exposed me to all sorts of things. One of those things is different slang and phrases that are specific to the area that I was living in at the time.
For example, one of the biggest slang terms I remember (and still somehow use to this day) came from California. It was the word "hella". It was a term to express how big or impressive something was. To use it in a sentence, "that's a hella nice car".
When I moved to Texas nine years ago, I was looking forward to hearing all the different words and phrases that people used and learning their meanings. There are some that have really stuck out to me, and believe me, I've got a ton I can go to. However, I'm going to stick with just five this time around...and I promise we'll come back to it.
How many of these phrases are ones you use? I'm betting out of these 5, you use at least 3-4 of them, and over time have used all of them. So without further ado, here are some phrases that are unique to Texas...for the most part.
"BLESS YOUR HEART"
This was one of the first ones I ever heard, and it was used AT me. Now keep in mind, I had just moved to the state and didn't understand a lot of Texas culture. I asked a question about something and that person replied with, "Oh, bless your heart. I hope you make it here." I had to look up the meaning of it...and then I realized I was a fish out of water and just got insulted.
"I'M FIXIN' TO"
So this one may be more of just a southern term, but I had never heard it outside of Texas. The first time someone said, "I'm fixin' to sit down and watch some football", I had to ask what they were fixing in order to watch football. I know, you'd think it's something self-explanatory. It wasn't, and I figured that out once I used it with one of my friends from Colorado. The look they gave me was classic and I'll never forget it.
Ok, so I realize this isn't a phrase, but let me tell you my confusion when I first heard someone use this one. We had some friends that had invited us over for a BBQ after the boys got done with their baseball tournament. Of course, we accepted the invite and asked if we could bring anything. The answer we got? "Just bring yourself and maybe some beer. I'm gonna fire up the grill and we'll have some yardbird and some fixin's." Not wanting to look like an idiot, I just said, "sounds good!" then hopped back on the field to get the boys loose. While I was on the field, I had to ask one of my assistants what exactly yardbird was and found out it's simply grilled chicken.
"THE DEVIL IS BEATING HIS WIFE"
The first time I ever heard this one, I was nearly appalled. I had ZERO clue what this one meant, but it sounded beyond offensive and I didn't know why. We were at a baseball tournament (surprise, surprise) and it was a beautiful day out. Some scattered clouds in the sky but sunny and beautiful. Then all of a sudden it started to rain. I was hustling to the restroom and heard someone in passing say, "Looks like the devil is beating his wife". I stopped and went to the person asking them to repeat what they said. They did and I then said, "pardon my ignorance but I've never heard that one before. What's the meaning?" That's when I found out it was a relatively common saying for when it's raining yet the sun is still shining.
"GOOD THING YOU'RE PRETTY"
This one might be the most insulting one on the list, but in all the places I've lived, I had never heard this one. It wasn't directed at myself (obviously) or anyone around us, but we were hanging out with some friends and talking about a parent at one of the baseball tournaments we were at. She was loud, boisterous, and obnoxious. She also didn't seem to have a lick of baseball knowledge even though her kid was playing. I was just chatting with the parents on my team about the crazy things she was saying and one of my parents said, "well, it's a good thing she's pretty". I looked at our parent confused and she said, "well it's true". Needless to say, I had to ask what it meant and that's when I found out it was a total knock at her intelligence.
There are so many more we could get into, but we'll save those for another time.