Thursday, July 12, 2012

Say What?

Thinking about Thursday
Say What? 

  If you ever meet me in person, it takes approximately .03 seconds to to realize, I'm from Texas. 
Yes, I have an accent. I say "y'all" for singular and multiple pronouns. I've also been known to throw out a "Howdy" or two. One of the reasons why you'll probably never see a VLOG from me. The camera makes it worse.

But, let me tell you what annoys the fire out of me. 

Southern characters created by someone who has obviously never been here. An actor with a fake Texan accent is enough to make me turn off a movie. There is a difference between "southern" and "hick", if you don't know it then you shouldn't attempt it. But, it grates on me just as much in books. 

I have never, in my life, said, "Boy howdy! Am I glad to see you!" nor have I called anyone "Partner". But, yesterday, when my mom referred to someone as being "all hat and no cattle," I got  thinking about some of our phrases and how they might work their way into my writing. 

Here are a few of my favorites:

Fire~ This is usually used to replace a word that I shouldn't say in front of my kids. Of course, I realized it might be less than effective when one of my girls told her sister, "If you don't stop that, I'm gonna knock the fire out of you." 

Fixin'~ Yes, this is a reference to time. It is used as in, "I'm fixin' to go to the store."

 *Some phrases for you:
"This ain't my first rodeo." 
"Like a chicken with his head cut off."
"All hat and no cattle."
"Bless his/her heart."
"That dog ain't gonna hunt."

*Definitions for those listed above available upon request. 

 So, how 'bout it y'all?
 What's your favorite colloquialism? 
What stereotype about your area do you hate to see in movies or books?



Clover Autrey said...

This post just makes me smile. I've lived my entire adult life in Texas, but wasn't raised here.

There are still some terms I haven't heard. Hat with no cattle is a new one for me, but I love it and also want to use it now. Guess I need to write about a Texan.

Teri Anne Stanley said...

I'm with you on the fake southern accents, or when someone from Texas sounds like Georgia. Kentucky has three or four different accents, and that Lexington Bluegrass sound is WAY different than the rest.

I was thinking about regionalisms yesterday when I had a character making goetta for it worth the explanation, or should we just have bacon this morning?

Dawn Alexander said...

Clover, you do need to write about a Texan! If you need more, I have plenty.

Teri~ Bacon. I don't know what goetta is.

Texas has several different accents also. You can definitely tell a difference between the West Texas and South Texas Twang.

Marsha said...

I've lived most of my adult life in Texas, but was a theatre major in college and moved around the country growing up, so I didn't have much of an accent. (Well, according to my Southern cousins, I sounded like a Yankee!) College courses cleared up what I did have. So married,moved to Fort Worth, and visited a church. "Bless the man's heart" his West Texas twang was too much. Even Hubby who's always had the accent, found the minister's accent distracting. We didn't join that church. :)
Now, many, many years after, I mostly sound like a real Texan. "Fixin" is a staple and "I" has only the first part of that dipthong. I've been known to let loose with an "all y'all." I draw the line at "git." "Get is the proper way to say that word. Thanks for a fun post, Clover.