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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 Padre Island National Seashore, and “Water, Water Everywhere,” for which he swam buck naked in Lake Travis, outside of Austin.

295 Articles

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

Recipes |
November 20, 2013

Let’s Eat

Treasured recipes—and the stories behind them—from our staff.

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 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 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

The Texanist |
August 14, 2013

On “Y’all” and Other Matters of Regional Dialect

Q: My husband originally hails from Wisconsin, and I was raised in Indiana. After three years in the Lone Star State, we have become comfortable throwing a “y’all” or “fixin’ to” into our conversations at home, but we still feel a little unqualified to use these expressions in public. At

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 2009A: Yes and no. The need to shake the dew off one’s lily away from modern facilities is one of life’s many inevitabilities (and one of its

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Famous Texans on Their Favorite Burgers

Yes, even famous people have favorite burgers. And since the hamburger was invented right here in Texas, we decided to ask a few famous Texans to tell us their stories about their favorite burger experiences. Rebecca RobinsonMiss Texas 2008, Miss Congeniality in Miss America 2009Lives in Dallas Rebecca

The Texanist |
January 1, 2013

The Texanist

Is the secret to good healthy actually “Crazy Water”? Illustration by Jack UnruhQ: I am a Texan of advanced age who is hearing all the clamor surrounding health care. I grew up in Mineral Wells, drinking the famed water they merchandise, and I enjoy great health

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