Weekend Writing Prompt — Fixin’ To

We moved to Dallas in the late 80s. I expected people there to talk with a Texas accent, but I didn’t expect was a unique Texas vernacular.

For example, the phrase “out-of-pocket” means away and unreachable, as in “I’ll be out of pocket for a few hours this afternoon.”

The phrase “New York minute” means quickly, as in “I’ll have that finished in a New York minute.”

My favorite Texas phrase was “fixin’ to,” as in “I’m fixin’ to call the plumber,” which means at some point or possibly never.

(Exactly 90 words)


Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where the word is “vernacular” in exactly 90 words.

26 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Prompt — Fixin’ To

  1. rugby843 June 11, 2022 / 10:54 am

    I like those old sayings? And use some—they educate kids😂😂

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor June 11, 2022 / 11:03 am

    My relatives in North Carolina say, “Fixing to”, so I think it is a Southern thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango June 11, 2022 / 11:07 am

      Could be. Texas is the only state south of the Mason-Dixie line I’ve lived in.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen June 11, 2022 / 12:46 pm

    Looking over these details pictorially, just now, tells me about a generation that knew how to be jerks up to a certain point in terms of patriotism.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_states_(American_Civil_War)

    My mother’s grandmother brought her children from the Virginia area (not entirely sure if it was West Virginia or Virginia while West used to be part of Virginia itself) to Missouri. I didn’t know this when I was a child or young person. They conceivably traveled along a strip of ideology. Another way to look at it might be that it’s a strip of agriculture. The north had some forms of slavery, inferior citizenship, or servitude (which continue in low wages for some types of work to this day). However, my mom’s nuclear family was not involved in agriculture, not in the east and not in Missouri. (My grandmother did have a victory garden, though, on to the end of her life.)

    Parallel to Missouri’s stance in the Civil War, my mom had been a supporter of Donald Trump, but she drew the line at the insurrection.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen June 11, 2022 / 12:51 pm

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason–Dixon_line

      My mom’s mom ended the pronunciation of Missouri with the “uh” sound as if there were an “uh” at the end. This is like pronouncing Louisville as if the i is an a (which Kentuckians do). She didn’t say “fixin’ to” though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen June 11, 2022 / 12:54 pm

        … as if there were an A …

        MISSOURA

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen June 11, 2022 / 1:03 pm

        This is too weird, to me. There’s an S in Louisville. People in Saint Louis don’t pronounce Louisville the way Kentuckians do, nor does anyone pronounce Saint Louis with an A/uh sound.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen June 14, 2022 / 10:24 am

      There’s an interesting animated tutorial at this link.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave_states_and_free_states

      Totally freaks me out that Missouri is “sometimes” (even if not usually and certainly officially not as part of the Confederacy) considered part of the south. Of course, I’m more likely to see Kentucky as part of the south, while it’s a “sometimes” qualifier as well. I have to admit that the Ozark area leans south (not only geographically but in the confederate/battle-flag-waving department).

      I remember (as a kid) going to visit distant family, one summer, in Virginia (categorized as sometimes too) and Maryland — both the countryside (so somebody was involved in agriculture granted it, near-term at least, wasn’t in my family line per se) and the suburbs of DC.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen June 14, 2022 / 10:32 am

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixie

        There was NO Dixie nostalgia or sense of simpatico in the educational milieu within Saint Louis, nor in my family. (I was, however, shocked to find out that my mom harbored bigotry. She will tell herself and anyone she doesn’t, but she is low on self awareness or honesty and is about as annoyed at people without college degrees as she is with black people even if they are on her educational level… but will have such “friends” for show and self-soothing).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen June 14, 2022 / 10:48 am

          Oops, no… Virginia is not only “sometimes.” That was feeling “off.”

          Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen June 14, 2022 / 10:17 pm

          While no one in my family or schools or anywhere around me for most of my early life said “fixin’ to” go, the black students at my private Lutheran high school did (not most of the time but as a linguistic option); fixin’ to do anything. The valedictorian was from Tennessee.

          And I’d say that very much relates to the section on music in this article concluding southern, for music. What I have to say about that is STL is a mix here, too. But as for the heavy influence from the south, this has little to nothing to do with “country” music.

          https://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/is-st-louis-a-northern-city-or-a-southern-city/collection_f91c9a93-20f4-5311-baf1-f6c463a3afdb.html#2

          Given where it sits on the map, St. Louis fits a type — a quintessentially Midwestern city ensconced in America’s heartland. But look a little closer, and that label gets more complicated.

          So, does St. Louis lean more to the South or the North? Or is it really the “western most Eastern city?” …..

          …..

          ……

          “It’s got more northern and eastern dialectical character and features,” agreed Randy Vines, co-creator of STL-Style, a St. Louis-inspired apparel and gift shop. It’s the only major city outside of the Great Lakes region that participates in the Northern Cities Shift in which short vowel sounds drift into other vowels’ territory, Vines said. The vowel mergers, the nasal drift and the raised “a” are all more similar to Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland.

          Verdict: Northern

          Architecture

          The Wainwright building, designed by architect Louis Sullivan and built in 1891, in downtown St. Louis. The tall office building is described as “the first skyscraper that truly looked the part.”
          Photo By David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com
          David Carson, Post-Dispatch

          The 19th century to early 20th century growth of St. Louis was driven by business leaders from Philadelphia, according to Michael Allen, senior lecturer in architecture at Washington University. Philly businessmen were looking for new markets and financed a lot of the early growth of St. Louis. The streetscapes were designed in a similar fashion — brick-paved streets, row houses that once dominated downtown and innovative building material. In the late 1800s, St. Louis’ buildings had a similar style to Chicago’s, following the Romanesque Revival architecture flourishing there, he said. The advent of the modern office building continued to influence the development and growth in St. Louis.

          Chris Naffziger, who writes about history and architecture for St. Louis Magazine, agrees that St. Louis is much more oriented toward the East in this regard. He sees St. Louis, with its red brick, square and rectangular structures, stone and terracotta accents, as sharing much more in common with mid-Atlantic and East coast cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

          Other Midwestern cities are newer and more “wooden” in style, he said. “St. Louis feels more like the East Coast than the rest of the Midwest, with the exception of Chicago,” he said.

          ……………………………………………………………………

          I didn’t quote the music part or most of the parts.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen June 23, 2022 / 9:08 am

            Speaking of Tennessee (end of top paragraph above), coincidentally…

            https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/428307

            Ultimately, Weaver’s ambitious, 12-month-long research project would uncover more than 5,000 artifacts and documents from five different states, and, with the help of more than 20 historians, archivists, archeologists, conservators and genealogists, who together conducted more than 2,500 hours of research, confirm four indisputable truths: Jack Daniel never owned any slaves, and Green was the first African American distiller on record in the U.S., the first master distiller for Jack Daniel Distillery and the wealthiest African American in Lynchburg.

            The wheels continued to turn, and it wasn’t long before Weaver realized she was on the fast track to founding a whiskey company that would honor the man who taught Daniel everything he knew. “Really, truly, the only thing I didn’t do was say ‘no’ to any opportunity or any lead,” she says, “and that’s really how this came to be.”

            ….

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Marleen June 11, 2022 / 1:35 pm

    Speaking of Texas…

    Breaking: Alex Jones’ Bankruptcy Claim
    Rejected by Federal Judge in Texas

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bushboy June 11, 2022 / 3:19 pm

    “Just up the road” in Australia can mean a few metres to hundreds of kilometres

    Liked by 1 person

      • The Autistic Composter June 11, 2022 / 11:34 pm

        Haha probably – and yet a lot of them are Northerners – we here in the South who are Southerners are always finding the north have some funny sayings 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Keith's Ramblings June 12, 2022 / 1:25 am

    Out of pocket is the only one I use but with a completely different meaning! I live in the south of England and last week I visited Scotland, they have some very odd expressions up there!

    Like

  7. Maggie June 12, 2022 / 5:30 am

    “Fixin’ to” is a southern thing rather than a Texas thing. It was commonly used in southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bill June 12, 2022 / 8:14 am

    Well dang-nabbit, I’ll just swan. Then there is the difference between east and west Texas. I had to use heathen the other day cuz Word rejected heathern, which is the correct spelling. 🙂 Fun one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. leigha66 June 19, 2022 / 7:45 am

    The one I noticed in the south was not having a picture taken, but have your picture made. The most surprising one… a friend went to Europe and when in England she had a guy ask if she wanted him to knock her up in the morning… he just meant he would wake her up. She was temporarily mortified. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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