David Courtney's Profile Photo

A Temple native, David Courtney is a graduate of the University of Texas 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 |
May 23, 2016

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on saying “I do” to a potbellied pig, bidding farewell to supper, giving your regards to Texas, and complaining about cold tortillas.

The Texanist |
April 20, 2016

The Texanist

Forget about Batman vs. Superman. Our advice columnist referees spring vs. fall, Strait vs. Wills, Oatmeal vs. Bacon, and restaurant vs. patron.

The Texanist |
February 24, 2016

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on putting a Tennessean in his place, adding Topo Chico to everything, learning to love a rusty jalopy, and naming Possum Kingdom Lake.

The Texanist |
January 27, 2016

The Texanist

Our estimable advice columnist on the pronunciation of “Fort Worth,” the pros and cons of spring break south of the border, the best way to deal with the brisket illiterate, and the Texan who mistook himself for a Floridian.

The Texanist |
December 23, 2015

The Texanist

Our advice columnist muses on the seeming futility of horse apples, the finer points of knives, the downside of going vegetarian, and whether it’s possible to love a Willie-hater.

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 UnruhQ: 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 now

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 2009A: 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 numbers hit? Ol’ Aunt

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-mailSeptember 2007A: Though