The Texas state government passed 666 “newfangled” laws in 2021—some in the dead of night—many of which take effect today. Here’s a guide (written by two Texans in exile) to understanding them through the language we Texans use on a daily basis, ya hear?
“Ah” — “I” in a Texas accent, a person whose individual liberty is either being constrained or expanded this year depending on their race and/or gender and/or immunity to COVID.
“Y’all” — “You all,” as in “Y’all can’t mandate vaccines. Also, y’all have COVID now.”
“Bless your heart” — Patronizing endearment. “Bless your heart, it’s absolutely adorable that you think Greg Abbott considers women people.”
“Queso” — Spanglish for “K, so here’s your gun.”
“Howdy” — A greeting, i.e., “Howdy! I noticed you’re not a white person, so let me show you out of this voting booth…”
“Remember the Alamo” — Actually, this one’s out of use. It’s no longer legal for history teachers to suggest that people should learn from history.
“Don’t Mess With Texas” — A T-shirt slogan that SCOTUS apparently thinks applies to them.
“The yellow rose of Texas” — A single yellow rose is awarded to the one person who gets to vote per election.
“Coke” — Texans never say “soda” or “pop,” as they are terrified of offending the powerful Koch brothers.
“Fixin’ to” — “Going to,” or “meaning to,” as in, “I was fixin’ to access reproductive healthcare, but then I remembered I live in Texas.”
“Texas: it’s like a whole ’nuther country” — A nod to Texas’s legacy of completely ignoring the United States Constitution.
“This ain’t my first rodeo” — Done this before, as in, “This is not the first time I’ve sued an abortion provider, and it certainly won’t be the last. Ka-ching!”
“If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute” — A reference to the amount of time you have between conception and a legal abortion. It’s shorter than a TikTok. Soon, women will be attempting to have abortions by falling off milk crates.
“Yankee” — An outsider. As in, “Some dang Yankee fool who believes in radical ideas like ‘bodily autonomy,’ ‘equality,’ and ‘science.’”
“Might could” — Another way of saying “could.” “You might could stop electing such brainless self-congratulatory dumbasses, but you can’t because they just banned voting.”
“Keep Austin Weird” — Austin’s a fun and kooky place that creates lots of independent music, artsy movies, and extremist laws cooked up by deranged representatives. And with gerrymandering up in the next special legislative session, they’ll keep it that way.
“I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.” — Something human rights lawyers say.
“Consarn it!” — An exclamation of frustration, as in, “Consarn it! I keep trying to convince my friends Texas isn’t a backwards dystopian hellhole full of racists and rattlesnakes, but Texas Republicans keep proving me wrong.”