Here’s How to Talk, Look, Cook and Relax Like a Texan

In Andrea Valdez’s new book, she reminds us how to stay true to our Texan ways.

By Laura RiceMay 6, 2016 9:50 am,

According to the latest census numbers, there are a lot more Texans now than there were just one year ago. But just because their addresses have changed – are they really Texans?

It takes more than just being born in a place to be a Texan, and the jury’s still out on how long it takes to become a Texan after you get here.

Andrea Valdez’s “How to Be a Texan: The Manual” decodes the Texan culture with “easy-to-follow steps and illustrations” for everything from talking like a Texan to tending the ranch.

“You can be here and adopt being like a Texan pretty quickly,” Valdez says. “There’s that phrase ‘I wasn’t born here but I got here as fast as I could.’”

Anyone who’s grown up in the great state has been through the seventh grade Texas history class, but this book expands on your historical knowledge with a culture that’s stuck around for generations.

There are a few things every Texan should know how to do, or at least know about. Here’s a sneak peek:

Say phrases like “might could”
Used when someone could possibly do something (e.g. I might could ride that mustang).

Speaking Spanglish
A number of Spanish words are so ingrained in our vocabularies, it’s easy to forget they originated from another language (salsa, fiesta, rodeo).

Choose a Belt Buckle
“It’s an item you can wear every day for the rest of your life, then pass it down to the next generation.” – Clint Orms, Silversmith

Attend Fiesta in San Antonio
With so many enticing events to attend, first-time Fiesta-goers often suffer from eyes-too-big-for-stomach syndrome, so before you gorge on festivities, be sure you leave room for Fiesta’s three major parades.

Wrangle a Rattlesnake
Depending on the snake’s length (they range from about 48 to 60 inches), use the tongs to grip it around its middle or a third of the way down from its head; this will limit striking range.

Make Some Texas Caviar
On New Year’s Day superstitious Texans take out a symbolic insurance policy by helping themselves to a heap of black-eyed peas – a practice that, according to tradition, guarantees one lucky day for each pea consumed.

Float the River
While the basic art of loading one’s booze boat also remains the same no matter which river you choose … depending on where you float, there are a few rules to follow.

Visit Gruene Hall
Gruene Hall, a 6,000-square-foot building constructed in 1878, is the state’s oldest continuously run dance hall.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Prepared for web by Beth Cortez-Neavel.