When you move to Amarillo, you hear a lot of phrases being thrown around. High plains is one. West Texas is another. You also hear about the Llano Estacado. Which one describes us best?

That's a tricky question to answer. A lot of it depends on who you ask.

The lines on the map that people use to distinguish "west Texas" varies from historian to historian. There's been a lot of debate over which parallels should be used.

I'm sure the debates were riveting.

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The easy answer to the question is, yes. Amarillo is one of the cities located in west Texas. In fact, we're the third most populated city in west Texas. The ones ahead of us? El Paso and Lubbock.

Another term you hear is Llano Estacado. While you can use this term to pretty much refer to most of west Texas, it's not exactly the same. The Llano Estacado region doesn't extend as far to the east as some who use the blanket term "west Texas" to mean everything this side of Fort Worth.

Then there's the phrase "high plains" that you hear. Yes, we're technically in the geographic area labeled the "high plains," but so are a lot of other places that aren't even in Texas.

According to one map of geographical regions in the US that I was able to find, the "high plains" goes north past Kansas and into the Dakotas. I hear the term used all of the time, but honestly it seems like too big of an umbrella to really hit home.

Personally, I like Llano Estacado. It rolls off the tongue. However, you don't get as many people asking "what's that" when you say west Texas.

If all else fails, just say "panhandle."

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