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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Laws as Unique as Texas!

Being born and raised in Texas, there’s just so much I take for granted, so I thought I’d share with you all a few Texisums and some laws that you might be interested to know about when you do come to the bigger than life state of Texas.

“You all” is both singular and plural.
“Y’all come back, you hear.” A Texan isn’t particularly expecting an answer and we’re inviting you or you and all of your friends back. Thus it can be singular or plural.

“All you all” is definitely plural. It means each and every one of you, while “you all’s” can be singular possessive or plural possessive. But “all you all’s” is definitely plural possessive.

  • Mosey:  Means both “to move quickly” and “to move slowly”.  A 2,000 pound Brahma bull moseys pretty dern slow, while a cowboy moseying toward a honky tonk for a cold beer would mosey rather quickly.

  • Fixin’ is an interesting word, not unlike “you all”.  It can be a verb, adverb or a noun, depending on how it’s being used.  Here’s an interesting quote from the dictionary.  “Regional Note: “Fixin’ to” ranks with y’all as one of the best known markers of Southern dialect, although it seems to be making its way into the informal speech and writing of non-Southerners.”  Here in Texas you’ll hear us say  something like, “I’m fixin’ to leave for the grocery store to get the fixin’s to fix dinner with.”

  • A couple of things only a true Texan would know. The difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit and the general direction of cattywumpus.

Here are a few Texas laws that are still on the books.

  1. Temple: Cattle thieves may be hanged on the spot. No one may ride a horse and buggy through the town square, but they can ride their horse in the saloon.
  2. Austin: Wire cutters cannot be carried in your pocket.  
  3. San Antonio: It is illegal for both sexes to flirt or respond to flirtation using the eyes and/or hands. It is also illegal to urinate on the Alamo.
  4. Texarkana: Owners of horses may not ride them at night without tail lights.
  5. It is illegal to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.
  6. It’s illegal to milk another’s cow.
  7. In Kingsville, there is a law against two pigs having sex on the city’s airport property. Why just the city’s airport property? Don’t ask me!
  8. Up here in the Panhandle it’s against the law to throw confetti, rubber balls, feather dusters, whips or quirts and explosive firecrackers of any kind.  Also, it’s illegal to dust any public building with a feather duster.
  9. Lubbock:  It is illegal to drive within an arm’s length of alcohol, including alcohol in someone else’s blood stream.
  10. In El Paso, churches, hotels, halls of assembly, stores, markets, banking rooms, railroad depots, and saloons are required to provide spittoons “of a kind and number to efficiently contain expectorations into them.”   
  11. In other parts of Texas you can’t land an airplane on the beach, throw trash from an airplane, or inhale fumes from model glue, not to mention you must obtain permission from the director of parks and recreation before getting drunk in any city park.
  12. Texas is a common law state, so you can be legally married by publicly introducing a person as your husband or wife three times.
  13. Port Arthur:  Obnoxious odors may not be emitted while in an elevator.

Some of these laws have been changed or strengthened, especially involving drinking and driving, while some like having wire cutters in your pocket or shooting buffalo from a second floor window of a hotel remains in full force and effect. So every time I look at the new Marriott being built, I wonder if they’ll add that law to the notice they put on the inside of your hotel room?  I might just have to call them and find out.

But the best law of all, states that you cannot tuck your pants into one boot unless you own ten or more head of cattle.  I have no idea what the purpose of this law might have been. Do you?

Are there any old laws that are unique to your part of the country that you’d like to share with us today?

To one lucky winner I'll send you an Amazon gift certificate to purchase my latest installment of the Kasota Springs Romance series from Kensington ... The Troubled Texan.


  1. I just love the 'laws' that are on the books for various towns and states. These are wonderful.
    I wonder if the pants thing is a way to keep the haves and have nots separate. Who knows.
    Thank you for a very fun and informative post. (I'm from the mid-west originally and we used cattywhumpus, connipition and hissie a lot, but I had relatives from the South, including Texas) Doris

    1. Hi Doris, good to hear from you. I've had a problem getting online today, so this is my first trip at PRP. Oh yea, I use cattwhumpus and conniption and hissie fit all of the time! As a matter of fact, my critique partners said I couldn't use cattywhumpus any more! LOL Now I just don't know how I'll describe something at a diagonal if I can't use cattywhumpus? Big hugs, Phyliss

  2. Phyliss, I love this post. I'm so sorry you had trouble getting it to work! We might just have to run it again in a few days so everyone will get a chance to see it. It's too good to not share it with everyone for the entire DAY. LOL

    I'm from Oklahoma but some of my ancestors came "up" from Texas. So we always said "y'all" and "fixin'" in my family. And even if other families might not use those words, they were common enough that everyone understood--and most people DID use them where I grew up.

    What a great list of laws. I love it!


  3. Phyliss, your y'all got me ed said I couldn't use it for just one person and I said, my Texas pals would disagree LOL. I think I gave in though.
    Love these laws; there's about ten milliion stories in them! xox

  4. Phyllis,
    What an interesting post. These laws are funny and ridiculous, some! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I'm still smiling over some of those silly laws. I think there's one in Alabama that says you can't tie your alligator to the parking meter. 0_o

    I remember reading about a law way back when in Denver, Colorado that made it illegal to drive a car on the streets on Sundays because it scared the horses people rode (or that pulled buggies) to church.

    In Aspen, you can't use a catapult to fire *things* at buildings.

    And until 2009 when it was repealed, Colorado Water laws prohibited the use of rain barrels or any methods to catch rain for use because the claim was the rain was already legally allocated to the state and the individual couldn't capture and use water to which he/she does not have a right.

    Really. Really. ;-)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Kaye,

      Didn't know about the rain barrels. So Colorado!