A State of MinE

Lone Star Nation

Steve Dunwell – Getty images

In Texas we are known to do things big. We tend to favor and flavor life robustly and then give our opinions about it, solicited or not, whether one likes it or not. It is a state of mind and a State of mine. And yes, whether I like its earned reputation and personality or not, doesn’t matter to Texans too much either. That’s also the meaning behind the Lone Star.

As such, I pay my humble tribute to my great, robust, opinionated Lone Star State because I can. I am an eighth-generation Texan — which means we were here well before the state was stolen away from Mexico — and have much to share about it. I will list a few definitions, and explanations of how we speak and what it means, or could mean. I feel this is an accurate self-portrayal, albeit parody, of my beloved rural Texas minus the guns, the horns, the beseeching “Lord in Heaven” for sure, and the Good ol’ boy yee-hawing.


The Meanings of Inept, Useless
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Common:  having or showing no skill; clumsy.

In Texas:  1 – He/She could screw up a two-car funeral. 2 – He is such a numbskull, he bought a suit with two pairs of pants, then burned a hole in the jacket. 3 – If she’d been cooking for the North, the South would have won the war!

The Meanings of Slow
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Common:  moving or operating at a slow speed; not quick or fast.

In Texas:  1 – He’s so slow he could gain weight walking. 2 – He was behind the door when brains were passed out to the room. 3 – If it gets any greener (stopped at a traffic light) it’s goin’ to grow!

The Meanings of Dead, Deceased
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Common:  no longer alive; not moving.

In Texas:  1 – He/She gave up their fiddle for a harp. 2 – The devil’s comin’ round with the bill. 3 – He/She swallowed the wrong pill. 4 – His/Her moving picture went dark.

The Meanings of Poor
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Common:  lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society; of a low or inferior standard or quality.

In Texas:  1 – Broker than the Ten Commandments. 2 – He lives on the other side of across the tracks. 3 – We’re so poor we can’t go window shopping or ‘draw’ breath in the bank.

The Meanings of Unacceptable
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Common:  not satisfactory or allowable; intolerable.

In Texas:  1 – Like hugging a rose bush. 2 – I’d rather play leap frog with a unicorn. 3 – I’d rather pick cockleburs out of a skunk’s ass. 4 – I’d rather use sandpaper than toiletpaper. 5 – He got caught in his own loop South.

The Meanings of Fast, Brilliant
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Common:  moving or capable of moving at high speed; exceptionally clever, quick-witted, or talented.

In Texas:  1 – He/She gets there in one-half less than no time! 2 – Movin’ like he was goin’ for the luncheon after Sunday service. 3 – She’s a walking encyclopedia inside a labotomy lab.

The Meanings of Advice, Tips
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Common:  guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative.

In Texas:  1 – Never call a man a liar just because he knows more than you do. 2 – Never sign anything by neon! 3 – There’s never a good time to have your gun jam. 4 – Just give me the bacon without the sizzle. 5 – Don’t jump off your horse and saddle to kill the rattle snake without your rifle outta the sleeve on the saddle.

The Meanings of Immoral, Wild
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Common:  not conforming to accepted standards of morality.

In Texas:  1 – They’ll wrap around you like a sweet-potato vine. 2 – He was born on the wrong side of the blankets. 3 – They’re hitched but not churched. 4 – His lips ain’t no prayerbook. 5 – They ate supper before they said grace.

The Meanings of Yonder
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Common:  at some distance in the direction indicated; over there.

In Texas:  1 – If ya leave by daybreak, you and your horse will arrive as the biscuits rise or the dinner-bell sounds. 2 – He’s bored and yonderin’ (as in daydreaming; drifting away and yawning).

The Meanings of Celebration
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Common:  the action of marking one’s pleasure at an important event or occasion by engaging in enjoyable, typically social, activity.

In Texas:  1 – Let’s shoot out the lights. 2 – We’ll go to town… or at least the far pasture. 3 – Let’s hallelujah the county! 4 – Throw your hat over the windmill. 5 – Let’s wear our Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes! 6 – We’re gettin’ happier than gophers in soft dirt.

I have all of my 35 or more cousins in Texas, but these three cousins grew up in a rural town outside of Austin. We spent a lot of time together growing up. They loved to hunt many sorts of wild game on huge thousand-acre ranches. On this particular all-day hunting trip, having walked around for miles, tired and hungry and having not shot anything but the wind with each other, they wanted to get back to the truck immediately for my Aunt’s excellent home-cooking. There was one problem. They’d moved so many times they weren’t sure if the truck was one way or another.

They argued, not rude or abhorrently, but each not trusting the other’s sense of direction. It also did not help they laugh and talk with each other making none of them a stealthy hunter in the least. Greg, the heavier slower walking brother was certain their escape was that way about a mile or two because of where the Sun moved all day and was now nearer the westerly horizon. Clay wasn’t so sure and wanted to one-up Greg as brothers do. “Due to the fall season,” Clay explained, “shorter days, and Earth’s rotation,” he claimed with an irrefutable tone “if we walked faster (glaring at Greg) this direction we’d find the truck a lot sooner.” Billy, the more tired and hungry brother, and argueably the one with more common sense, was not going to be outdone by either of them and said “Well, if the Sun is over there Greg, and the Earth is rotating faster than you walk, and Clay you say the truck’s in front of us, then why not we just sit here arguing until the truck comes to us?

Ah yes. My beloved state of Texas. Nothing like it or us cowboys inside it, anywhere in the world. We are indeed in some state of mind. o_O

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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21 thoughts on “A State of MinE

    • LOL…as I was mentioning to Lonestar below, I imagine some/many of these colloquialisms are unfamiliar because Texas is SO DAMN HUGE! 😛

      My family (cousins included of course) are VERY entertaining Madalyn. Though I grew up in the DFW area (Oak Cliff), I was around and in rural parts just as much — little towns outside of Austin as well as Galveston and in between — and believe it or not, I have many cowboy ranching, horse-ridin’, tobacco chewin’ spittin’, beer drinkin’, knee-slappin’ two-steppin’ dance-hall bar stories that might shock you. 😉


      • Well, it was in fact intended as a bit of a joke, as my understanding was that as far as Texans were concerned, the rest of the U.S. did not to all intents exist, and hence “your border” would be with Canada. It appears this little snippet is unfounded, as it rings no bells with you. Have I got it all hopelessly wrong professor . . . Lone Star Love?



        • Ah, my apologies Hariod for missing your rather accurate joke then! Not to sound aloof (as some Texans can come across, me included 😉 ) but your joke didn’t register with me because truly I am nowhere near as “proud” of my state’s world reputation as are many/most(?) Texans.

          I can’t speak for all Texans naturally, but of my 28 total Aunts & Uncles and 37 total cousins (and all their children) I can truthfully say with most certainty that ONLY 10 cousins and 5 of my Aunts or Uncles out of 65 total family members completed 4-years of college. That number includes my Dad and myself. They are all well within and accurately represent Texas’ average of “education-level attained”… which is only 25.5% of the state’s population have college degrees; only one-quarter! If you’d like to see those comprehensive 2014 stats: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_educational_attainment It’s much worse in other Texas educational areas. Care to guess where that 74.5% of power & wealth reside? Hahahaha! o_O

          Now of those 65 total family members I could safely guess only 10 of them (tops!) have ever traveled out of the U.S. to another foreign country — and to a 3rd world country that isn’t lavished with touristy amenities?…HAH! Maybe 3 or 4, but 2 or 3 might be more precise. Should I give you the number who in their entire life have been OUTSIDE the state of Texas? (laughing wildly)

          Therefore, this map below would be THE MAP many of my family members would boast about/for yet so many of them have never had a need to see and experience the rest of America, much less own a U.S. passport!!! I have a hunch that the number of college-educated, world-cultured Texans are pretty representative of my family members. For the sake of margin-of-errors… let’s say +/- 3%… 5%? 😮


          The stats are the stats and the facts are the facts. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • I see, so your map too shows a Texan border with Canada! I once lived in a village in Oxfordshire and which included amongst its residents the local butcher, Bob – or ‘Bob the butcher’ as everyone knew him for sake of clarity. Now, Bob the butcher, when I lived there in the eighties, was approaching retirement age (65) and I asked him what he planned on doing with his time. He replied: “I may go into Oxford again”. [Oxford City, some 14 miles distant] I asked him what he meant by the curious inclusion of the term “again”. Bob the butcher explained that he had only ever left the village to explore Oxford once in his lifetime, that in 1939, and for an army medical in Oxford, which he failed. So, in some 60 odd years of life, he’d only ever visited that beautiful nearby city with its many attractions once. I asked him why, and where else had he explored. He replied that he had never left the village other than that one trip into Oxford some 40 years previously.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. And that, my friend, is telling the world how the cow ate the cabbage, Texas-style! 😉 You better watch it or I will be on you like a duck on a June bug, Professor! Lol!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha! You mention two good Texas gems Lonestar! Thank you! 😀

      Some of these colloquialisms I hadn’t heard, like your first one, but the second one definitely, many times. I imagine one reason some/many of these are unfamiliar is the simple fact that Texas is SO DAMN HUGE — 268,820 frickin’ square miles huge! That’s larger than many countries around the world! Are we “compensating” for anything you think? 😛


  2. My maternal side of my family is out of Texas – I still have an aunt that lives there. Having been raised in Alaska, though, has shaped my opinions of Texas in interesting ways.


    • Having been raised in Alaska, though, has shaped my opinions of Texas in interesting ways. 😉

      Can you elaborate more on that? PLEASE!? 😀

      Yes. Getting OUT of Texas for an extended period of time, MANY times, is always beneficial on all intrinsic and extrinsic scales! It offers MUCH perspective. Broader perspective and wisdom… from Humanity’s point-of-view. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL – well, for starters, there’s the “biggest state” rivalry…if Alaska were to be cut in half, Texas would easily fit in either half, with room to spare! So we jokingly say to Texans, “Hey – do you really want to be the 3rd largest state?!?”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Texas! I plan a road trip to Texas whilst I am in Tennessee this summer. Now I shall at least have a bit of conversation to bandy about 😉 These are simply beautiful. I particularly like the ones for immoral / wild and death. A real treat, Professor!


    • Oh my! Why on Earth are you going to Tennessee? And for how long?

      Though Texas is a little different than Tennessee, as far as inanimate scenery goes or wildlife and Nature, BUT as far as people are concerned there is not much difference… UNLESS you know how to look for the unconventional and WHERE to find the unconventional non-touristy spots & people. 😈

      But then, that sort of “adventure” might not be your cup-o-tea Lucy. 😉


      • I have some very good friends in Nashville and have been visiting on and off for nearly ten years. I like all sorts of interesting people and places and can fit in pretty much anywhere – it is exactly my kind of adventure! I will be over for a few weeks, maybe more depending.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That is excellent Lucy! Bravo and bravo for visiting so much! 🙂

          I like all sorts of interesting people and places and can fit in pretty much anywhere – it is exactly my kind of adventure!

          Mmmm, we are very similar in that regard my fine learned Lady of Old College! Keep me posted on this summer adventure please. 🙂


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