Texans have their own way of talking and folks in Dallas – Fort Worth are proud of their iconic sayings. If you are lucky enough to live here, then you don’t think twice about our Southern twang and dialect. If you aren’t a local, well bless your heart, but here’s hoping that you’re fixin’ to visit soon! Here are 14 unique phrases to Texas and the Metroplex.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. We love our "Big D."
Dallas is known as "Big D," or less commonly, "D-Town."
2. Fort Worth is known by many names, but "Panther City?"
Fort Worth is known as "Cowtown," "Where the West Begins" and even "Panther City." The first two are obvious, but why a panther? You’ll find panther references in business names and a panther has even graced the top of Fort Worth police badge since 1912. So where does this unusual nickname come from? In 1875, a Dallas attorney made the comment that Fort Worth was such a non-happening city that he saw a panther asleep in the street of downtown. Today it is embraced as a symbol of hope and strength.
3. All together, we make up "The Metroplex."
This common phrase is actually an official title designated by the U.S. Office of Management to refer to the expansive area of Dallas – Fort Worth, as well as the suburban cities and 13 counties in between, including Arlington. The Metroplex encompasses almost 8 million residents and 9,286 square miles.
4. "High-Five" is not talking about a type of celebratory greeting here.
Our key highway clusters have names. We have "The Mixmaster" (where Interstate 30 and Interstate 35 split off from each other), the "Central Distressway" (Central Expressway), and the "High-5;" a five-tiered jumble where Interstates 635 and 75 meet. There’s no denying that our congested traffic can sometimes drive our commuters to good ol’ "hissy fits," so we might as well find humor on the roadways!
5. "America’s Team" plays here.
The National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys were given the nickname "America’s Team" in 1978, and it has stuck ever since. They are also known as "Da ‘Boys" and even the "Dallas Wow Boys." They play at the extravagant AT&T Stadium in Arlington, which is sometimes referred to as "Jerry World." To top that, they just opened a training facility in Frisco, nicknamed "The Star." And don’t forget about "America’s Sweethearts"… the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.
6. We ask for "a coke" to drink... even if we mean a Sprite.
Don’t be fooled. Asking for "a coke" doesn’t mean Coca-Cola. Instead, it refers to any fizzy soft drink. Imagine this conversation with a waitress: "I’d like to order a coke please." "Sure, what kind?" "I’ll have a Dr. Pepper."
7. We are "fixin’ to" do something.
Locals say it in reference to going to do something, such as "fixin’ to go to the game." There is actually nothing to "fix." We might be "fixin' to get some grub" right after we take a gander (look) at that gorgeous Texas sunset.
8. "Y'all" is part of our permanent vocabulary.
We proudly say "howdy," and we definitely say "y’all." Sometimes we put it together as a greeting - "howdy, y'all!" We also say "all y’all come here" when we are trying to summon a group or "y’all all have a good night." Regardless of whether it's spelled "ya'll" or "y'all" it is ALWAYS pronounced "YAWL."
Saying "y'all" comes as natural to us as wearing cowboy boots and country-western dancing. No true local EVER says "you guys." It’s a dead giveaway y'all aren’t from around here.
9. Dallas women still like their "high do."
Chic Dallasites still are partial to "high do" hairstyles, although Fort Worthians are less apt to go with the big Texas hairstyles. We may not actually still say that we want our "hair as big as Texas" or "the higher the hair, the closer to Heaven," but that doesn’t mean that many of us don’t prefer it that way.
10. "Bless your heart."
The saying can be snarky or profoundly genuine. If something unfortunate occurs, it is truly a sentiment of caring and sorrow. It can also be used when someone says something so extremely off base or wrong that all a person can do is shake their head, and utter it in a way that everyone knows what the person
11. "Everything’s bigger in Texas."
From the size of our pickup trucks and high school football stadiums to the square footage of our homes, everything really IS bigger in Texas. Dallas capitalizes on its reputation as a big and bold city. It even encourages it by installing giant letters "B" and "G" throughout the city. Tourists (and even locals) can stand in between the two letters as the "I" for one big and unique Dallas photo opp.
12. "Don't mess with Texas."
You've most likely seen this phrase on touristy T-shirts and belt buckles, but the sentiment is real. While it has been the unofficial slogan of the Lone Star State since 1985, this legacy catchphrase actually started with an anti-littering campaign!
13. Hungry locals go find themselves a good "taqueria."
In the Dallas – Fort Worth area, we have lots of taquerias (pronounced tah-kuh-ree-uh). The Spanish word formally refers to a stand that sells tacos; however, the word is part of the colloquial lexicon to talk about Tex-Mex restaurants in general (which offer much more than just tacos).
14. "This ain’t my first rodeo."
This phrase doesn't mean attending the annual Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, because let's face it, almost all locals have! When someone here says this, they mean they've been there and done that, and are no naïve fool. If a Texan says it, it means they know exactly what they are doing.
Our Southern drawl may be evolving but these iconic sayings endure. Which phrases should be added to this list?