David Courtney's Profile Photo

A Temple native, David Courtney is a graduate of the University ofTexas at Austin. He joined Texas Monthly in October 2005 and in July 2007 debuted his wildly popular advice column, The Texanist, regularly the magazine’s most-read feature.

In 2017, the University of Texas Press published The Texanist: Fine Advice on Living in Texas and in 2019 Fox Entertainment optioned the column with plans to develop a television show based on it. As the Texanist and as himself, Courtney has contributed his talents to such endeavors as the annual Bum Steer Awards, the quinquennial review of the fifty best barbecue joints in Texas, “The 50 Greatest Hamburgers in Texas,” “The 40 Best Small-Town Cafes,” and “Snap Judgment,”a compilation of the ten greatest plays in Texas college football,as well as “The Beachcomber,” for which he walked the entire 65-mile length of the Padre Island National Seashore, and “Water, Water Everywhere,” for which he swam buck naked in Lake Travis, outside of Austin.

The Texanist |
November 18, 2015

The Texanist

Our advice columnist muses on the sanctity of a pickup’s bed, browses the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, and once again tries to determine who qualifies as a Texan.

The Texanist |
October 21, 2015

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on the origins of Hunt’s boot fence and how miffed we should get about pecan pronunciation, desecrated chili pots, and overenthusiastic, football-lovin’ grandfathers.

The Texanist |
September 17, 2015

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on finding love in the country, the (unquestioned!) merit of the State Fair, the fulfilling post-rodeo career of a bucking bull, and more.

The Texanist |
July 23, 2015

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on ducking tornadoes, mom’s new boyfriend’s haircut, the politics of pro football, and the mysterious origins of the Texas sheet cake.

The Texanist |
June 11, 2015

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on washed-up beaches, chicken-fried whoppers, the etymology of “hindcatcher,” and tryin’ to love an Elantra-drivin’ man.

The Texanist |
April 16, 2015

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on hat etiquette, delusions of ranchhood, reconnecting with your Texas roots, and staying loyal to your Wranglers.

The Texanist |
March 13, 2015

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on pathological liars, missing knives, the difference between a Texan and a New Yorker turned Floridian turned Montanan, and why tequila is not—hic!—a vegetable.

The Texanist |
February 10, 2015

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on Texas brag, the limits of speed limits, the intoxicating appeal of his alma mater, and just who, exactly, was going to Luckenbach, Texas, with Waylon and Willie.

The Texanist |
January 14, 2015

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on buildin’ a fire pit, dressin’ like an oilman, plannin’ a destination wedding (or not), and lettin’ go of a non-barbecue-lovin’ woman.  …

The Culture |
December 11, 2014

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on deer blind etiquette, the undeniable friendliness of his fellow Texans, the ineffable charm of sounding like a rube, and his peculiar sidekick, Li’l Bubba.  …

The Texanist |
November 14, 2014

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on domino-nothings, reconnecting with your roots, procuring public property, and the ineffable appeal of the frozen mango margarita.

The Texanist |
September 15, 2014

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on playing Words With Friends, figuring out a hat size mystery, and the rules pertaining to road-killed rattlers.

The Texanist |
June 5, 2014

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on bygone dining traditions, feeling homesick, and the indelible effects of living a mere five years in Texas.

Travel & Outdoors |
May 1, 2014

Trip Guide: New Orleans

There is something wonderfully anachronistic about traveling by train in this modern age. And I’m not talking about workaday back-and-forth commuting on some dreary regional transit full of pallid stiffs. Quite the opposite: I mean real rail travel, travel the old-fashioned way—a weekend summer sojourn by way of a…

The Texanist |
April 8, 2014

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on euphemisms involving the word "hay," A&M's unaptly named yearbook, and meat preparation preferences.

The Culture |
February 11, 2014

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on how to talk to kids about edible pets, whether Plano is pretentious, what constitutes a “major” city, and more.

The Culture |
January 22, 2014

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on the best way to endure the cedar allergy season, the safety of mutton busting, how to impress your valentine this month, and more.

The Culture |
December 10, 2013

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on when teenagers should be allowed to go on unchaperoned coed camping trips, whether Coloradans hate Texans, and more.

The Texanist |
October 14, 2013

The Texanist

How do a husband and wife resolve backyard barbecuing duties? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: My wife has recently taken a keen interest in my backyard barbecuing duties. In fact, last weekend she asked me if I wanted her to start cooking the beans from…

Arts & Entertainment |
August 15, 2013

On Sports and Sportsmanship

Q: I’ve had a tailgate party in the same spot for just about every Aggie home game since R. C. Slocum’s last season, in 2002. This year I’d like to make the move to a different spot, on the other side of the stadium, but it’s between two established tailgates, and I…

The Texanist |
August 15, 2013

On the Great Outdoors

Q. I am an avid South Texas hunter. A while back, I was en route to Concan and stopped to get gas when I saw a group of grown men shamelessly flaunting their pink camouflage hats and shirts. In almost three decades of hunting I have never seen a pink…

The Texanist |
August 15, 2013

On the Home and Lawn

Q: Will hiring a lawn service to do my mowing make me soft?Preston CulbersonNacogdochesSeptember 2009 A: Well, boy hidy, Mr. Deep Pockets, seems somebody has suddenly found himself standing in some mighty high cotton. And, at the same time, in some increasingly tall grass. Did your…

The Texanist |
August 15, 2013

On Child-Rearing

Q: My twelve-year-old daughter is a complete and unashamed tomboy. She hunts with me, fishes with me, and throws the football with me. Wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress. I love every second of it, but her mother thinks it’s come time for her to drop some of these boyish…

The Texanist |
August 14, 2013

On Dipping and Spitting

Q: I work for a technology company in a nice office in Austin—despite what you have heard, we are required to wear shoes. Anyway, I have a co-worker who dips Copenhagen and spits into a Styrofoam cup. Is this acceptable in an office environment? Mike Via e-mail…

The Texanist |
August 14, 2013

On Romance

Q: How many Gulf oysters does it take for a person to see results from the aphrodisiac qualities that they are said to possess? My wife and I were recently visiting Galveston and shared three dozen to no avail.Name WithheldFebruary 2011 A: Ah, the oyster. The most delectable…

The Texanist |
August 14, 2013

On Relieving Oneself

Q: If one makes a genuine effort not to be seen while peeing outdoors, can that still be considered urinating in public?Frank AllenRicardoMarch 2009 A: Yes and no. The need to shake the dew off one’s lily away from modern facilities is one of life’s many inevitabilities…

The Texanist |
August 14, 2013

On Guns and Weaponry

Q: How old need a boy be to receive the gift of a first gun? ChristopherAustinJanuary 2009 A: Assuming that we are not speaking of some wild-assed hellion who will bury his relatives in a torrent of tiny steel balls the first time a firearm is laid…

The Culture |
August 14, 2013

On Sartorial Matters

Q: I was born and raised in Texas and have resided in New York City for the past couple of years. On a recent trip back home, I visited a friend on his ranch in West Texas and was mocked unmercifully for wearing skinny jeans. I will admit that the jeans…

The Texanist |
May 13, 2013

The Texanist

On why good neighbors mend good fences, drinkin' while dog walkin', and the proper way to dispose of bacon grease (hint: in your belly).