blue norther n. 1. A cold, biting wind, particularly in the Panhandle or North Texas, which we blame on people who live in the North.
BOI abbr. Born on the Island: A person who is a native of Galveston.
buckle bunny n. 1. An attractive young woman who wears Western clothes, so named because of the large belt buckles she sports and the cowboys she chases.
coke n. A generic term for a soft drink. If you ask for a “coke” at a restaurant, you will be asked, “What kind?” See also: Dr Pepper
construction next five miles A series of signs permanently erected every five miles along I-35 between Laredo and Gainesville.
corn-or-flour n. An inquiry into one’s tortilla preference, often spoken at a restaurant and always said as a single word.
Dr Pepper n. The (un)official soft drink of Texas, often referred to as the “nectar of the gods.” The abbreviation “Dr” should never end with a period.
feeder road n. Any freeway access road in Houston, though the uninitiated might think this is the longest road in the entire city and the one with the most congestion and accidents.
fixin’ to v. To prepare oneself to perform a task, as in “She’s fixin’ to study law at the University of Texas at Austin.”
gig ’em n. 1. The first hand sign of the old Southwest Conference, created by Texas A&M alum Pinky Downs in a pep rally against TCU in 1930. This sign is formed by making a fist and extending the thumb. 2. The standard Aggie cheer.
he thinks he glows when he walks An expression that indicates a person’s vanity of self-absorption.
he’s (she’s) flexible An expression used to describe a member of the Legislature who is ready to sell out to a lobbyist.
hi sign n. A one-finger salute (the index finger is crucial here) made when drivers pass each other on country roads. This gesture, which is generally made without lifting the hand from the wheel, typically appears at least thirty miles outside a major urban area.
hitch in my giddyup An expression that conveys a delay or a small problem with a person’s situation.
Johnson treatment n. The process by which one cajoles, wheedles, pesters, and intimidates a person to get what he wants. Named for Lyndon Baines Johnson, the thirty-sixth president of the United States, who popularized the approach.
luv ya blue The rallying cry for the diehard fans of the long-gone Houston Oilers football team. It can also be helpful to describe a certain shade of blue.
might could v. A better way of saying “might be able,” as in “We might could go to the football game.”
ox is in the ditch An expression that confirms that a person is unable to do what he or she wants
pine curtain n. The area of Deep East Texas that stretches to the Louisiana border and is only slightly more permeable than the Iron Curtain was.
poleax v. To knock down with a violent blow, either figuratively or literally.
pure-dee adj. Authentic or genuine.
tuna n. 1. The delicious fruit of a prickly pear, which comes in a number of varieties and can be mixed into a drink, candy, or jelly. 2. Also, a fish.
this is a good government amendment An expression used in the Legislature when a member is about to gut the bejesus out of someone else’s budget.
trill adj. Hip-hop slang that originated in Port Arthur to describe someone or something that is “true” and “real.”
visit with v. To chat with someone, as in “Mother wanted us to visit with our cousins at the family reunion.”
winter Texan n. A senior citizen from another states drives a recreational vehicle to South Texas in November, where he or she lives for the next five months and wears nothing but jogging suits.
y’all pron. The preferred way to say “you-all.” When referring to large groups, note that “all y’all” is appropriate.
This piece is just one bit of wisdom offered in our April 2015 cover story, “Welcome to Texas!” a friendly user’s guide for our state’s most recent transplants. To read more advice, go here.