Home » Gate Guarding » Year in Review Part 10 – A Short Recap of Texas Speak

Year in Review Part 10 – A Short Recap of Texas Speak

OK, y’all are too funny (see how thoroughly acclimated I am now – I can say y’all (which can also be spelled ya’ ll)  just like a native Texan. 😀

Reading the comments on yesterday’s post, One Year of Sharing, was kind of like going to my own funeral, where everyone says only the nice things.  😀

It was great and I’m not even dead yet!  Thank you! It looks like it’s going to take me a month just to recap the year. This is just a little side post addressing the difficulties some Yankees find when first settling in the South.

While I’m pretty good with y’all, I”m still struggling to communicate. It’s gotten better than it was back in Tilden when I made Willie, who looked exactly like Danny Glover about 25 years ago, spell all (oil) and I asked the Toe (Tool) Pusher to spell truffles (Trend Files).

Then there were entire paragraphs that I missed:

I disremembered  zactly cept all that tawk near made yuar heya turn. Y ‘all might could jus say that ah dent felt lack fahtn, sewed ahd get outta thar lacka kay-yut with wangs.

In  Yankee speak that would be: I can’t remember exactly, except that all that talk could  almost make your hair turn white. The hair turning white was explained to me later. You could say that I didn’t feel like fighting so I got out of there like a cat with wings!

It’s really much more interesting to hear them tell it!

To complicate things, only half of our guys were from Texas. The other half were from Louisiana – which is an entirely different world of phonetic interpretations!

The easy part of Texas talk was the universal dropping of the g. I had no problems with walkin and talkin and riggin and swiggin. At first I thought the g was dropped as a type of conversational economy to get straight to the point. Nope. For starters, there wasn’t always a point, and secondly, little words are made bee-yug (big). Many one syllable words are turned into two: rig is ree-yug, cat (as in the sentence above) is kay-yut and I swear I’m the only person in Texas who talks fast.

There are words that are reversed like fill and feel. You fill good. You feel the truck with gas.

Our Texans seem to especially not like the letter i no matter what word it was in:

Ahma tell him that it were rangin (ringing)  and the welder is brangin (bringing) toes (tools) ta get at er. Hesa  fixin ta bah (buy) thangs (things) in town but nahn tahms (nine times) outa tan (ten), it’ll tay-yak em fowar (four) shots.

Just to be clear, these are smart guys. It isn’t that they couldn’t speak well, it’s just that I just didn’t know what they were saying. When I used to have to ask the guys to spell everything, not only did they think I was nuts, but it didn’t really help since I couldn’t understand their spelling much better than their talking. I finally just gave up and guessed. I was wrong a lot! You do develop an ear for it after a while. It helps a lot if there isn’t too much Copenhagen.

The communication problems cut both ways. They can’t understand me either. Take last night, for example. One of the guys asked me where the truck went (not where I went, but where the truck went) and I said:

Oh, I just went to Cuerro to get drugs. Really Debbie, did you just say that?

I need to learn to leave out the personal details, but if I really had to share, I could have said that I went to Walmart to pick up a prescription.  And I think they talk funny…

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. ~ Mark Twain

Looks like it’s time to move this retelling of tales from Shiner to Smiley.  Don’t you just love all the happy names they give these little towns? It was in Smiley that our real adventures began. More on that soon!

14 thoughts on “Year in Review Part 10 – A Short Recap of Texas Speak

  1. I too, am getting here at the end of the story . . .and will just enjoy it while it lasts! 🙂 You crack me up! Thank you for sharing your world with us and expanding ours!

    • Well hello Debbie!
      What a pleasant surprise to see you here! I have a few folks from Fork who read Two Minutes of Grace, but very few from TMG that read Fork!
      You will see a bit of a different side of me here. 😉
      Although I’m able to post comments, WP won’t let me post any new posts here right now. As usual, it’s a complete mystery to me.
      Thanks for sharing this part of my life, too, my friend!
      ~ Debbie

      • I’m sure it has felt like a lifetime. You were not even RVers before you started this so you had quite a learning curve! Last winter didn’t help at all.

        I’m adjusting to being so far from civilization. After living 30 years in Houston & then Dallas, this is a stark change! Then there are the coyotes. Even the guys out here say they are scary. We must have a den somewhere near the gate. There are a bunch of them and as soon as they detect activity near the gate they start yipping. Thankfully tonight will be a quiet night because of the weekend and holiday. Also, our door is not right at our gate so we have to walk about 50-65 feet (or more) to get from the gate to our front door. Not fun with the yipping!

        Have a wonderful evening and a great 2012!
        Vicky 🙂

    • Although I can understand why you might think we were new RVers, Heidi bought the Class A in May of 2008. We left Iowa for Oregon in August. We work-camped at an RV park in Gold Beach, Oregon for 6 months, then in CA for 6 months, then back to Oregon where we spent another year as State Park hosts. The year before coming to Texas, we did have an apartment at Pacific Reef Resort in Gold Beach where we were both managers and the RV rested for a year. 😉
      Hope your night remains howl free!

  2. NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Your blog is one of an handful that I real daily. I’m a lurker, I rarely comment. Please don’t stop. You have a gift with words, and your lives are interesting and entertaining. Pretty please…

  3. Oh, I just FOUND you last week and sooooo enjoy your blog. We are “thinking” about coming over to Texas from Arizona for a couple of months of gate guarding with GGS and I am learning so much from your blog. Please continue….don’t go away!!!

    • Hello Jim and Bobbie and welcome to Fork, for however long it stays!
      I had written a new post yesterday but Word Press just won’t let me post it (it also spammed your comment, I have no idea why).
      So – I may not be able to keep writing, whether I want to or not. But thank you for your kind words. I hope to stick around at least until I finish up last years tales.
      I’d love to hear from you if you decide to come to Texas – and even if you don’t! 😉
      ~ Debbie

  4. Damn you make me laugh. I feel like i’m in a Paula Deen episode. Butter and all (oil). Two syllable words from one … damn ya’all fast-talkers thank you know i ‘tall. Not good.

    I wouldn’t guess … I’m sure the So. Tex boys would think i had a big-ole tumor or somethin.

    Love that Mark Twain too. He could sort out a lotta different folks. Well, now i have to go back and read all about the Fork. Sorry i missed so much! Good stuff. xo mel

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