Coming to Texas can be daunting – everything is bigger, after all. The language can seem foreign at times, too; Texans definitely have their quirky Southern slang. So, to assimilate into the native Texan culture, here are a few important phrases to learn.

Aggie: The official student body nickname at Texas A&M. A&M once stood for Agricultural and Mechanical.

Alamo (Remember the): A San Antonio landmark that every student must visit and the site of an important battle for Texans fighting for independence from Mexico.

Barbecue: The religion of smoked meat. Texas barbecue can be divided into four general styles: East Texas, Central Texas, South Texas, and West Texas.

Bigger in Texas (Texas-sized): Texas is the biggest continental state (what’s Alaska? Never heard of it.) and we honor that fact with extra large ice cream scoops, extra voluminous hair and extra tall toast.

Bless Your Heart: A phrase used to assert social dominance over others.

Dallasite: Someone who uses “Bless Your Heart” to assert social dominance over others and drinks wine out of a Jesus Juice tumbler bought from Real Housewife of Dallas Brandi Redmond.

Don’t Mess with Texas: A popular tattoo, t-shirt design and bumper sticker that communicates Texas pride

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Fixin-to: Meaning “about to,” or “soon to,” “fixin’ to” does not mean repairing, but preparing.

Gig ‘Em: The universal sign of approval for and from Aggies

Hook ‘Em: (Hook ‘Em Horns) The slogan and hand signal of The University of Texas at Austin.

Houston: A major South Texas city. Similar to Dallas, but with greater humidity and no Cowboys. So, worse.

Howdy: An informal, shortened form of the greeting “How do ye?”, which is a shortened form of the greeting “How do you do?”

Reunion Tower: An icon of the Dallas skyline with a restaurant at the top. It makes a full revolution every hour.

Rodeo: Competitive sport that stems from the tradition of cattle herding, featuring bull riding, cattle roping, barrel racing and sometimes clowns. Ex. “This ain’t my first rodeo.”

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Sorry: Rather than expressing contrition, “sorry” describes a person of shady character. Ex. “That sorry scoundrel is up to no good.”

Sweet tea: Required summer drinking in the South. Sweet iced tea pairs with all southern food, from fried chicken to barbecue.

Texas toast: Toasted bread with butter, and often garlic, sliced doubly as thick as normal toast. A classic example of “Bigger in Texas.”

Tex-Mex: The glorious fusion of Mexican and American cuisines, deriving from Tejano culture. Examples include chili con carne and nachos.

Tornado Alley: The area of the United States where tornadoes most frequently offer, including Texas.

y’all: The grammatically correct contraction of “you” and “all”

y’all all: The grammatically less-correct contraction of “you” and “all” and “all”.

Yankee: Anyone from somewhere north of the Red River.

Alexandra Cronin

Alexandra Cronin is Local Profile's senior editor. She has been with the company since 2016. She loves great coffee, good food, and average wine.