Topic 5.2.1

More Colorful Texas Sayings Than You Can Shake a Stick At

 

Texans have unique ways of expressing their feelings. Common as cornbread, old as dirt, funny as all get-out&endash;homespun expressions link modern Texans to our rural and agricultural past, conveying the resolute spirit and plainspoken humor of our heroes and pioneers. Some sayings are instantly familiar because our parents and grandparents quoted them; others parallel the wisdom of biblical proverbs or Poor Richards Almanac.

Anne Dingus, Texas Monthly, December 1994

Here is a collection of the most geographically relevant expressions by category.

 Acceptable | Dishonest | Brave | Dry | Hot | Cold | Distance | Busy | Unsophisticated
 General Advice | Big | Crazy | Rich | Poor | Miscellaneous | Ugly |
 
Please feel free to submit your own sayings as gleaned from parents, friends, and fellow Texans. They will be added to the list with your attribution noted.
s-bednarz@tamu.edu
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Sayings

 
Acceptable
Might as well. Can't dance, never could sing, and it's too wet to plow.
 
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Dishonest
There are a lot of nooses in his family tree.
So crooked you can't tell from his tracks if he's coming or going.
Crooked as the Brazos.
I wouldn't trust him any farther than I can throw him.
 
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Brave
Brave enough to eat in a boomtown cafe.
He's got more guts than you could hang on a fence.
She'd charge hell with a bucket of ice water.
 
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Dry
So dry the birds are building their nests out of barbed wire.
So dry the Baptists are sprinkling, the Methodists are spitting, and the Catholics are giving rain checks.
So dry the catfish are carrying canteens.
So dry the trees are bribing the dogs.
So dry my duck don't know how to swim.
It's been dry so long we only got a quarter inch of rain during Noah's Flood.
So dry I'm spitting cotton.
Dry as a powder house.
Dry as the heart of a haystack.
 
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Hot
Hot as Hades.
Hot as the hinges of hell.
Hot as a depot stove.
Hot as a two-dollar whore on the 4th of July.
Hot as a billy goat in a pepper patch.
Hot as a summer revival.
Hotter than a fur coat in Marfa.
So hot the hens are laying hard-boiled eggs.
 
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Cold
This is hog killing weather.
There's only a strand of barbed wire between here and there and its down (after a blizzard).
Cold as a frosted frog.
Cold as an ex-wife's heart.
Cold as a cast iron commode.
Cold as a banker's heart.
 
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Distance
Down the road apiece.
A fur piece.
Turn left past yonder.
I won't say it's far, but I had to grease the wagon twice before I hit the main road.
Two hoots and a holler away.
 
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Busy
They're doing a land office business.
Busy as a funeral home fan in July.
Busy as a hound in flea season.
Panting like a lizard on a hot rock.
 
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Unsophisticated
Just fell off the watermelon truck.
He's so country he thinks a seven course meal is a possum and a six pack.
They lived so far out in the country that the sun set between their house and town.
 
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General Advice
A drought usually ends with a flood.
Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered.
A worm is the only animal that can't fall down.
You can't get lard unless you boil the hog.
Don't hang your wash on someone else's line.
Don't get all het up about it.
Skin your own buffalo.
 
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Big
Big as Brewter County.
Big as Dallas. ( Also heard as "Big as Big D")
Big as a Brahma bull.
Fat as a town dog.
She's warm in winter, shady in summer.
 
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Crazy
He's got a big hole in his screen door.
She's two sandwiches short of a picnic.
The porch light's on but no one is home.
I hear you clucking but I can't find your nest.
 
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Rich
In tall cotton.
Running with the big dogs.
He didn't come to town riding two to a mule.
 
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Poor
If a trip around the world cost a dollar, I couldn't get to the Oklahoma line.
So poor I had a tumbleweed as a pet.
I ate so many armadillos when I was young I still role up into a ball when I hear a dog bark.
 
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Miscellaneous
Independent as a hog on ice.
Thick as dew on Dixie.
Thick as fleas on a farm dog.
That's two different buckets of possums.
Come hell or high water.
Lord willing and the creek don't rise.
Serious as the business end of a .45.
Baptists and Johnson grass are taking over.
He's so slow he could gain weight walking.
 
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Ugly
He looks like he was inside the outhouse when lightening struck.
She looks like she was born down wind from the outhouse.
So ugly the tide wouldn't take her out.
So ugly his mama used to have to tie a pork chop around his neck to get the dogs to play with him.
He got whipped with an ugly stick.
Looks like ten miles of bad road.
 
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Copyright, 1997, Sarah W. Bednarz
Revised August 2005