I decided to ask my friend if she knew any interesting folk similes. She shared with me a few she thought reflected her Texas heritage. She is marked KB, and I am marked CS.
KB: “So another simile we always use in Texas is ‘he’s got a ten gallon mouth.’”
CS: “Can you explain to me the meaning of this simile, in your own words?”
KB: “It’s just like, Texas people are really talkative. Like, you talk to them, and they just start…blabbering. Or when people talk really fast. I feel like that’s just such a Texas thing.”
CS: “Have you personally used this simile before?”
KB: “Oh yeah, all of the time.”
CS: “Where did you first hear it?”
KB: “Oh, my dad. Definitely my dad. He always uses Texas phrases.”
Phone conversation in which I recorded KB’s recounts of folk similes as well as a riddle she grew up learning.
KB is a freshman at the University of Southern California and grew up in Austin, Texas.
I did enjoy this simile because although I have never been to Texas, there is definitely a well-known stigma of it and it is clear there are certain sayings you just don’t hear anywhere else. Similar to other Texas simile, this one seems to reflect how deep-rooted Texas’ cultural values are. I never quite thought of folk similes as being so pertinent compared to the other forms of folklore, but clearly in this instance they are. They truly indicate their origins and that origin’s heritage.