We’ve all been there at one point or another. You’re in a region that you typically don’t frequent, and you hear the waiter or a colleague say something. Something so strange, so out of the ordinary, so unheard of back in your parts. This s no surprise, or it shouldn’t be. Different areas of the country, and even separate states, have their own slang they’ve come up with over time that just kind of stuck around. Think about it, the term ‘slang’ had to come from somewhere, and we for one are thrilled that regional slang terms still exist.
Here in Texas, we tend to do things a little differently. From the way we talk to our idea of “summer”, there’s nothing generic about this state. Yes, we say y’all. Yes, we use ‘dagnabbit’ as a replacement to other choice words. Yes, we have police on horses, even in the city — hey, Austin.
But the list doesn’t end with simple terminology to utilize throughout your day-to-day. Nope, it stems much further than that. Here in Texas, if you’re hungry, you may need to specify exactly what you mean when you say certain things.
Why? Well, because things have a slightly different meaning in this fare place. To showcase what we mean, check out these eight foodie phrases, and their Texan meaning to expand your cultural awareness and prepare you for your next visit to the Lone Star State.
1. Corny Dogs
This may be a bit obvious, but where else are you going to hear, and thoroughly enjoy eating, a corny dog? Oh yeah, this means corn dog.
You know, a hot dog fried in cornbread, AKA God’s gift to state fairs around the country. Here, we have Fletcher’s.
This can mean one of two things, and two things only. If you hear someone say, “beer me”, and you hand them something other than a Shiner Bock or Lone Star, you’re about to get an earful.
Take our advice, stick to the two classics when requested. After all, all beers aren’t equal around here.
BBQ, or barbecue as you know it, isn’t taken lightly in Texas, and it’s almost offensive if you don’t get yourself a juicy slab or four of brisket when you go out for BBQ. After all, here barbecue means brisket, and that’s all you need to know.
After all, all Cokes aren’t just Coke. What? What’s that even mean? How can ordering a Coke not mean ordering a Coke when you just specifically said you wanted a Coke.
Well, here in Texas, Coke is the general category of fountain drink so please, specify.
5. Ice Box
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Sure, this sounds like it’d be a cooler or perhaps a box of some sort that holds ice, i.e: a freezer. If you think that in Texas, you’re vastly mistaken.
If we were talking about a freezer, we’d call it that. If we were talking about a cooler, we’d call it that. If we’re talking about a fridge, it’s obviously the ice box. Obviously.
Don’t step out to any restaurant or local bakery and simply order a pie without accepting the repercussions of your word.
In case you haven’t heard, Pecan Pie is what Texas is all about, and we have some of the best Pecan Pies this country has ever seen within our borders. It may not what you have wanted to order by simply saying ‘pie’, but there’s no way you’ll be disappointed.
7. Fast Food
What fast food chain has ruled supreme throughout Texas ever since it began in Corpus Christi? Whataburger, of course!
If you want fast food, your Texas friends will immediately drive you here. Pro Tip: you’re not a Texan if you haven’t collected order numbers from dining in (it’s the Texas way).
8. Texas Butter
This is an old-time classic phrase that new generations may not be aware of but fret not: we’re here to educate you. This butter isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill butter, in the sense that it’s not butter at all.
It’s actually slang for gravy because let’s be honest: gravy belongs on everything that butter is put on, and then some.