East Texans are pretty quick on the drawl
By Van Craddock
East Texas is a place like nowhere else. The Pineywoods is the land of pickup trucks, good ol' boys and, well, good ol' girls.
It's a place where the two most important activities are church and high school football … and not necessarily in that order. East Texas is a spot where nobody uses turn signals because you figure everybody in town knows where you're going anyway.
But the thing that most distinguishes East Texans from everybody else is our language which is, to be sure, unique. Here are a few examples:
- BIGGER'N'DALLAS -- Anything that is considered large. "Bubba, that linebacker for Kilgore is Bigger'n'Dallas."
- CO-COLA -- A popular soft drink. The term can be generic as in, "Hun, go fetch me a Co-Cola."
- TAR - What you put on your pickup. This isn't to be confused with tarred, which is what happens when you overextend yourself.
- FAR - Rhymes with tar. A blaze, something that far-fighters fight.
- SPRANG HILL - A school district in north Longview.
- HISSY FIT -- A fit of anger, as in "Mama's having another hissy fit."
- PO-LEASE -- With first syllable emphasized, any law-enforcement officer. "If y'all don't hush up, I'm gonna call the po-lease on you."
- BOB WAR -- Pineywoods for barbed wire.
- PURT NEAR - Just about. "Billy Frank ran out of gas and purt near missed the whole tractor pull."
- LARRAPIN' -- Delicious or tasty. "Grandma, that supper was larrapin'. Actually, it was plum larrapin'."
- CARTH-RIDGE - A town in Panola County. There's no "d" in Carthage, but that doesn't stop many East Texans from placing one there.
- SHREZE-PORT -- A city just across the state line in Louisiana. "How bout we visit the boats in Shreze-port, Betty Jean."
- MIZ -- Any female over the age of 17. It doesn't matter whether she's married, single or, as we say around these parts, just between husbands at the moment. However, MIZ is not to be confused with …
- MIZ-REZ -- This word can only describe married women, as in "Let me introduce you to Mr. and MIZ-REZ Rogers."
- Y'ALL -- A contraction for "you all." For some reason, most East Texans insist on misspelling the word as "ya'll."
- PEAK-ED -- To appear pale or sickly. "You're looking a tad peak-ed, Thelma Lou."
- WARSH-INGTON -- The capital of the United States. "Them bureaucrats up there in Warsh-ington ain't got sense enough to come in out of the rain."
- BULL HOCKEY -- An expression of displeasure. "He wasn't out at second, ump. That call was bull hockey!"
- PASSEL -- A group of something. "A passel of polecats is under the house again, Pop."
- ARGIE -- A disagreement involving two or more East Texans. "Junior started to argie and that's when Joe Bob punched him in the nose. So we had to call the po-lease."
Of course, this only scratches the surface. There are plenty of other East Texas expressions but I'm out of space. Besides, I've worked up a thirst and need a Co-Cola.