What People in Houston Say, and What They Actually Mean

Picture of Houston highway with text overlay
holbox/Shutterstock (Edited)
holbox/Shutterstock (Edited)

Houstonians are pretty nice (at least to your face). So while the majority of conversations around here are mostly pleasant, figuring out the hidden meaning behind what’s being said is kind of like figuring out what the hell happened at the end of Inception. Luckily, we’ve come up with a handy translation guide to get everyone on the same page.

"Bless your heart."

Translation: Someone get this idiot away from my face before I word-vomit what I’m actually thinking out loud in front of his entire family.”

"Sorry, traffic! Be there soon."

Translation: I didn’t even leave the house yet, but I’m banking on the fact that there’s insane traffic on 610. There definitely is.

"So, what do you do?"

Translation: What sector of O&G are you in? Because I’m about to get laid off, and could really use a good contact right now.

People sweating in Houston
Flickr/Jeremy Perez Photos.

"It’s not that hot out."

Translation: I’m sweating in places I didn’t even know existed, but don’t want you to look at me. Stop looking at me!

"I’d love to come to your birthday party!"

Translation: Bitch, this best be somewhere near my apartment. OMG, what if it’s not even inside the loop? 

"I’m from Houston."

Translation: I grew up in [insert tiny suburb nobody has ever heard of], and/or have lived here 10+ years, so I’m staking claim to this damn city once and for all. Get over it.

Cocktail and slice of cake
Flickr/Sarah Worthy

{Texts a friend at noon on a Friday} "It’s so nice out! Happy hour?"

Translation: Just wanted to remind you I have 9/80s in case you forgot. Enjoy the rest of your work day!

"Oh, me? I live in Midtown."

Translation: I party and you wish you were me.

"I live in the Heights."

Translation: So I mayyyyyy be pushing the boundaries of the Heights a bit, but it’s still inside the loop, so GFY.

"It’s not far."

Translation: It’s going to take us an hour to get there.

"Let’s go somewhere chill."

Translation: We need a patio bar because I’m bringing my dog, but don’t want to be the one to suggest West Alabama Ice House for the third week in row. Yes, it’s near my house, but that’s not why I like it.

"Want to split an Uber there?"

Translation: Are you driving tonight? If so, can you pick me up?

"Yes, there’s a line, but it goes quick."

Translation: I’m lying, but stop being such a lazy butthole and come out in Midtown with me.

Bartenders making drinks

"They don’t take reservations."

Translation: We’re gonna rip shots at the bar while we wait an hour for our table, hope that’s OK. 

"They had the BEST tasting menu."

Translation: I just spent $150 on dinner and am still trying to convince myself it was worth it. It was, right??

{At Sunday brunch} "Let’s have another round. It’s bottomless."

Translation: I’m going in late to work on Monday because I have a doctor’s appointment. What you don’t know won’t hurt you.

"Need. Coffee."

Translation: Not badly enough that I’m willing to go to Starbucks. Meet you at Blacksmith in 10?

BB's cafe dish
BB's Cafe

"We just bought a house in the Woodlands. Come out and we'll grill by the pool."

Translation: Please come visit me. I’m slowly dying inside and currently experiencing night sweats from my BB’s withdrawal.

"I miss the way Montrose used to be."

Translation: I actually grew up here and am therefore more legit than you. Now listen to me tell you stories about Lola’s you don’t want to hear.

"You’ve never had a Whataburger???"

Translation: Bless your heart.

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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston writer who wasn’t born here but knows exactly what “bless your heart” means, you jerks. Follow her @BrookeViggiano but don’t you ever, EVER say that to her.