Translating 7 Common “Texan-isms”

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Translating 7 Common “Texan-isms”

By Erin Baxter

As we all know, Texans are their own, unique breed. So, why would our language be any different? If you’re a Yankee, you might drink soda pop. But, in Texas, we drink “coke,” whether it’s a Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or Sprite. Doesn’t matter… it’s a coke.

The South is known for its wildly creative idioms – sayings that cannot be understood from the individual meanings of the words. Quite a few idioms are language-specific, and thus difficult to translate. Texas takes the cake when it comes to capitalizing on these old sayings. Conversations south of the Mason-Dixon Line will probably befuddle anyone who’s not “from around these parts.”

1. We’re living in high cotton.

Translating 7 Common “Texan-isms”


Cotton is a crucial crop to the Texas economy, so every year, farmers around the state pray for a grand (if not tall) cotton crop. As well they should! Texas is responsible for producing over a quarter of the nation’s total cotton crop annually. It’s known that tall cotton bushes are easier to pick and yield higher returns, so if you’re living “in high cotton,” you feel successful and wealthy.

2. Bless Your Heart.

Translating 7 Common “Texan-isms”
Photo: Bless Your Heart – Shirt by Texas Hill Country

Everybody knows Texan women drop this phrase constantly. But it might not mean what you think it means. In reality, the phrase has little to do with religion – and more to do with a passive-aggressive way to call you an idiot. Depending on your inflection, saying “bless your heart” can sting worse than any insult. A newer version is, “Well, isn’t that sweet,” in reference to a failed attempt.

We recently designed a shirt for this lovely phrase! Find the above shirt (in many color options!) and more at Texas Hill Country Shirts.

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