6 Phrases All Houstonians Use

6 Phrases All Houstonians Use

Whether you’re a local relocating inside the loop or a stranger moving to Houston for a new adventure, Arabella aims to combine the best qualities of modern design and southern hospitality. Houston is a one-of-a-kind world class city with hundreds of unique restaurants, shopping, and landmarks. Of course, it also comes with plenty of quirks – and no, we’re not talking about the Texans or the Rockets! We mean specific things that Houstonians say all the time. Consider this your official “Talk like a Houstonian” cheat sheet!

image of Houston Galleria near Arabella

Common Phrases You Hear All The Time in Houston

Feeder Road– This is a phrase you’ll hear almost every Houstonian use. The weirdest thing is: it’s almost restricted just to Houstonians. According to this map, only 1.97% of the country uses the term “feeder road” to describe the small parallel roads that run along highways. Most of the country refers to them as “frontage roads”. If you want to immerse yourself in Houston culture, referring to these roads as “feeders” is one way to start.

Fixin’ To – This traditionally Southern American phrase doesn’t belong just to Houston, but boy do we use it! Most of the time, the phrase gets used before an action or activity: “We’re fixin’ to leave” or “We’re fixin’ to go to the River Oaks District”. It indicates that you’re not leaving just yet, but you’re leaving very soon.

I’ll have a Coke– This is another “Texanism” we use very often in Houston. Normally, when a server comes to take your drink order in a restaurant, someone might say “I’ll have a soda” and then follow that up with which kind of soda they’d like to have. Houstonians have a different method: “I’ll have a Coke” they say and the server replies, “What kind would you like” Then the Houstonian says any soda – Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, etc.

Travel Specific Phrases for Houston

It’s not far! – Normally, this phrase might mean a quick walk or even a quick drive in reference to going somewhere. In Houston, it could mean that….or, it could mean it’s between a 30 – 45 minute drive. With so many major destinations near the Houston metropolitan area and so many paths to get to them, it’s easy to meet friends for happy hour drinks, an art gallery opening, or a delicious meal almost anywhere in the city!

Inside the Loop – As you might have noticed, many Houstonian phrases originate in terms of location or travel. One of the biggest hallmarks of living in Houston is knowing what “Inside the Loop” means and it’s easy: all it means is that where ever you want to go lies within the 610 freeway loop! It’s also a shorter way of saying something like the Museum of Fine Arts Houston or Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is nearer to the center of our city (and the Arabella!).

“It’s pronounced Kuykendahl – This is the one that’s most specific to Houston. There’s a particular road in northern Houston called “Kuykendahl” and yes – everyone pronounces it wrong until someone else corrects them. That is to say, it’s actually pronounced “Kerr-kin-doll” instead of how it looks which is “Coo-ee-kin-doll” or some kind of variation on that. It’s home-grown and it’s niche, but that’s Houston for you!

You’ll Fit Right In

At the Arabella, you’ll enjoy life inside the loop near the feeder road to 610 (and not have to worry about pronouncing “Kuykendahl”). Nothing is too far away and you can savor a Texan Coke – a Dr. Pepper – in a private garden. Become a bonafide Houstonian with this cheat sheet!