in line for a movie a few days ago, I overheard a middle-aged man tell a friend,
“Lord, I’ve been busier than a bee in a tar bucket.” |
Having written a
couple of books
on East Texas expressions, I thought I knew them all, but the bee in the tar
bucket was new.
But, then again, East Texans have always been inventive
when it comes to expressing themselves.
My wife often chides me about
calling our refrigerator an “ice box.”
But it’s an expression I find hard
to drop. Growing up in Diboll
in the early forties, we had in the kitchen a tall box-like enclosure where my
mom kept perishables such as meats, eggs and cheese.
To keep the box cool,
an ice truck made its rounds around Diboll
on a regular basis, leaving a block of ice in the box. Since he was a trusted
delivery man, he walked through the kitchen door on the back porch and dumped
the ice in the “ice box.”
I am not sure, but I think this was one of those
services provided without charge by Southern Pine Lumber Company.
woe be unto the kid in the house who forgot to hang the “ice card” on the front
porch. The card had different amounts and the ice man delivered the amount at
the top of the card. If the card wasn’t present, we likely went without ice until
my father went to the ice house and picked up a block.
Texas expressions seem to be making a comeback. I recently heard a man say that
his wife “has a biscuit in the oven,” referring to the fact that she was pregnant.
expressions dealing with biscuits include these:
“Burn the biscuits and feed the devil.” “If
you drop a biscuit, you’ll likely marry a poor man.” “If
you take the last biscuit on the plate, you’ll marry the cook.” “Those
biscuits are so big that it only takes nine to make a dozen.”
best delicacy in many rural households was ‘nanner puddin’ which, of course, is
Some people who come to East
Texas have difficulty understanding our way of speaking.
A few years,
ago, while we were having guests for dinner, my wife instructed me to “run to
the store” and pick up a loaf of bread. One of our guests looked at me and asked,
“Instead of running to the store, why don’t you drive your car?”
fixin’ to go” or “I’m fixin’ to do that” is another expression some people don’t
are a few other popular expressions:“I’m
so broke I can’t buy dust.”
“To tame a mule, bite him on the ear.”
“He’s so lazy he won’t hit a lick at a snake.”
“If your nose itches, you will kiss a fool.” “He’ll
charge hell with a bucket of water.”
October 9, 2011 Column,
Bob Bowman's East Texas >
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers
(Bob Bowman of
Lufkin is the author of more than 50 books about East Texas history and folklore.
He can be reached at bob-bowman.com)
| People |
Food | Texas Towns
| Texas |
|Book Hotel Here