Common as cornbread, old as dirt, funny as all get-out—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 or grandparents quoted them; others parallel the indisputable wisdom of biblical proverbs or Poor Richard’s Almanac; plenty just make us laugh. We asked twelve renowned artists to illustrate their favorite Texas sayings, and we present as well a sample of other axioms and adages common to the state—a collection of sayings as big as all hell and half of Texas.
It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
That’s close enough for government work.
Might as well. Can’t dance, never could sing, and it’s too wet to plow.
I could sit still for that.
You can’t beat that with a stick.
He can strut sitting down.
He’s all hat and no cattle.
She’s all gurgle and no guts.
He chamber-of-commerced it.
He’s on a first-name basis with the bottom of the deck.
There are a lot of nooses in his family tree.
So crooked that if he swallowed a nail he’d spit up a corkscrew.
So crooked you can’t tell from his tracks if he’s coming or going.
He knows more ways to take your money than a roomful of lawyers.
Crooked as a dog’s hind leg.
Crooked as the Brazos.
Slicker than a slop jar.
More twists than a pretzel factory.
Crooked as a barrel of fish hooks.
So crooked he has to unscrew his britches at night.
She’s more slippery than a pocketful of pudding.
He’s slicker than a boiled onion.
I wouldn’t trust him any farther than I can throw him.
If that ain’t a fact, God’s a possum.
You can take that to the bank.
You can hang your hat on it.
You can bet the farm on it.
He’s so honest you could shoot craps with him over the phone.
If I say a hen dips snuff, you can look under her wing for the can.
Brave as the first man who ate an oyster.
Brave as a bigamist.
Brave enough to eat in a boomtown cafe.
He’s got more guts than you could hang on a fence.
He’d shoot craps with the devil himself.
She’d charge hell