Quiz: Are You an Expert in Texan Traditions?: HowStuffWorks
Are You an Expert in Texan Traditions?
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By: Teresa McGlothlin
6 Min Quiz
Image: Kathryn8/E+/Getty Images
About This Quiz
Everything's bigger in Texas — we mean everything! Not only does Texas have more beef cattle and pecans than any other state in the U.S., but it also has the best traditions you'll find west of the Mississippi River. Do you think you know everything there is to know about being a true Texan, or are you just trying to fit in?
During the state's existence, it has flown under the flag of six different nations. Now called the Lone Star State in homage of the time it was its very own country, Texas has an identity that stands apart from other states. While there are a few traditions that Texans share with the American South, there are plenty that Texas gets to claim. Texans are so proud, they would probably claim the ones they share as their own, too!
As you travel down the 85 MPH highway of this quiz, read each question carefully and choose your answers wisely. Do you know Texas well enough to get a Texas-sized score? Put on your boots and head to the livestock show with us. Then we'll let you know how well you did! We bet your score is big and bright.
Wikicommons by Jonesdr77 at en.wikipedia
If you find yourself hankering for a burger at 2 a.m., where does Texas tradition say you should go?
First opened in 1950, Whataburger is a late-night staple! Based in San Antonio, there are over 670 of them spread throughout the state. A simple menu and fast service are only two of the things Texans love about the famous chain.
Jack Andersen/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Hailing from Waco, what kind of soda do Texans consider a food group?
Since 1885, Texans have been enjoying Dr Pepper. Created by pharmacist Charles Alderson, it started off as a fountain drink. There's no way to tell if it's true for certain, but local legend has it that it was named after the father of a girl Alderson had a crush on.
When Texans want another driver to pass them, what do they do?
Texas hospitality is so well-known, we probably don't have to tell you about it. Their friendliness extends to their driving, too. If you are driving behind a Texan and you see them pull over to the shoulder and wave, they are graciously letting you pass.
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Etiquette and formal dances are only two parts of which Texas tradition?
Although not all Texas middle-schoolers participate in a cotillion, it's still a popular tradition. For weeks, attendees brush up their etiquette, their ballroom dancing skills and their manners. Their training comes to a close when they attend a formal dance.
Eternity in an Instant/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Is it true or false that Dallas-Fort Worth area students get a day off to attend the state fair?
It's very rare for Texas children to get a snow day, so it's perfectly reasonable that they get a "fair day" when the state fair rolls into town. Held in Dallas, the Texas State Fair lasts for 24 days, starting at the end of September.
Do you know the name of the famous Austin barbecue joint that serves over 10,000 pounds of brisket every week?
If you really want to dive deep into Texas traditions, you can't skip out on the barbecue. Franklin Barbecue is one of the state's most famous restaurants. It's not unusual to see people camping out so that they're first in line for the day's limited supply.
Houston Life via Youtube
What sort of flowers traditionally adorn garlands worn by girls heading to a Texas homecoming dance?
What started as the gift of giving a small flower corsage before a homecoming dance has grown into a Texas-sized tradition. You won't see a homecoming court without long garlands of ribbons and chrysanthemums.
Wikicommons by Surelyitsjohn at the English language Wikipedia
When the Longhorn band takes the field, what's the name of the enormous drum they bring with them?
The "Sweetheart of the Longhorn Band" first took the field in 1955. Standing over 8 feet high, Big Bertha is almost 100 years old! It's a Texas tradition for The University of Texas at Austin now, but it started life at the University of Chicago.
If you hear a Texan talking about their "dress pair," what are they talking about?
Move over, Nashville! Texas has a long-standing tradition about cowboy boots, too. You couldn't be considered a Texan unless there are at least two pairs of them in your closet. Any Texan worth their salt knows that you have to have one pair for everyday wear and another for special occasions.
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What sort of show do Texans take in while they're at the rodeo?
Not everyone in Texas goes to the rodeo to see bull-riding or rodeo clowns. Many visitors go to take in the livestock shows that are usually held in conjunction with them. It's a prize-winning event that many ranchers attend every year.
What might you see some Texans doing when a funeral procession drives by?
Texans have such great manners that they don't simply pull over to the side of the road when a funeral procession is coming through. Many of them also get out of their vehicles and stand in respect for the fallen.
Manuel Orero Galan/Moment/Getty Images
Every year, thousands of Texans flock to roadside fields for pictures with which flower?
Lupinus texensis, or the Texas Bluebonnet, is only found growing naturally in one small part of the world. Texas and three Mexican states are full of their blueish, purplish hue every spring. It's quite common to see drivers pulled over to marvel at their beauty.
Thomas Barwick/Stone/Getty Images
What do Texans simply love to do while spending a day on the river?
Summers in Texas are hot, sometimes hitting the 100s! What better way to cool off than to take a lazy float down a river? Even in the middle of Austin, you can find people floating along peacefully on tubes.
Sally Anscombe/Stone/Getty Images
How are Texans most likely to travel when they go on vacation?
As the second-biggest state in the United States, it's possible to take a vacation without crossing another state border. The state's carefully planned highway make all of its cities accessible by car. Taking a yearly road trip is just part of being a Texan!
What high school sport is as important as major league sports to Texans?
If there's one thing that Texans love more than college football or the NFL, it's high school football! High school games are a tradition that's taken as seriously as the Super Bowl. Before jetting off the big leagues, many players get their first fans right in their hometowns!
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For Texans, what's the only kind of pie you'll need on the holiday table?
The pecan is the official nut of Texas, but it's not just a name. Texas' river valleys provide the perfect climate for the trees to naturally grow. In fact, Texas is the only state in the U.S. that grows them commercially. It wouldn't be a holiday dinner without a pecan pie on the table!
How should you never order your steak or burger in Texas?
Texas takes its meat seriously! There are more cows in Texas than in any other state, and you should learn how to respect the animal while you're there. Texans believe that ordering something cooked to well done is disrespectful because it zaps the meat of all its taste.
Which unusual location might Texans send you for a quick bite to eat?
Getting food at the gas station might not sound like your idea of a culinary delight, but Texans would beg to differ. Many Texas truck stops and local filling stations have their own grills and gourmet offerings.
Which Mexican food is traditionally served during Texan Christmastime celebrations?
From traditional American places to Tex-Mex diners, you'll never be at a loss for something tasty in the Lone Star State. Should you be lucky enough to visit over the holidays, you are sure to take in the state's favorite dish — tamales!
Texans are so welcoming because the state's name translates to what?
In addition to being the state motto, "friendship" is the actual meaning of Texas. The state has likely taken its name from a pronunciation of a Caddo word. In their language, it also means "ally."
Wikicommons by Jameywiki
What's the name of the Texas truck-stop chain that has a beaver on the logo? It's a road-trip favorite!
Buc-ee's is headquartered in Lake Jackson, Texas, but it has grown beyond the state's borders. Rather than being a standard truck stop, Buc-ee's is more of a roadside mega-mall. You can find anything and everything you need for a proper Texas road trip there.
Texans pronounce "pecan" a little differently than the rest of the country. How do they say it?
Sure, Texans (and their charming Southern drawl) say a lot of things a little differently than other parts of the country. Since Texas produces the most pecans of any state, we're going to go ahead and say they're the experts when they say "pick-ahn."
Ralf Nau/Photodisc/Getty Images
Texas takes third place for the state that has the most of what kind of vehicle?
Trucks are so popular in Texas that many automakers have given the state their own limited editions. With 4.2 million of them registered throughout the state, it's just another way that Texans go big.
When Texans address a group of friends, how do they do it?
Are y'all having a good time with Texas traditions? No matter how many people a Texan is addressing, they will always use the word "y'all." It's also popular in the American Southeast, but Texans have a way of saying it that makes it their own.
Do Texans find it offensive when people wear the state flag?
Simply put, Texans are proud of being Texans. Neither the state flag or the state's shape are considered off-limits. Texans like to adorn everything from bikinis to tortilla chips with all things Texas.
It would be unusual to see a Texan holding a drink outdoors without which one of these things?
If you didn't have a collection of koozies, you couldn't possibly call yourself a true Texan. Texans love being outdoors, and there's no better way to keep your drink cold than with a foam koozie. They're common souvenirs, and they're a great way to spread Texas pride.
Wikicommons by surelyitsjohn
If Texans are not fan of the Longhorns, what's their other favorite college team?
A Texas football fan wouldn't dream of rooting for an out-of-state team! The biggest game of the year takes place when the Aggies face the Longhorns. You're either on one side, or you're on the other.
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Other than Dr Pepper, what drink do Texans love the most?
Some Texans order sweet tea, and some Texans order unsweetened tea and add sugar to it. Either way, no Texas meal is complete without a large glass of sweet tea poured over ice. Sometimes, Texans even like to brew it in the sun (it's called sun tea).
Do you know the name given to the state's favorite type of cuisine?
What do you get when you mix traditional Texas cuisine with Mexico's finest dishes? You get Tex-Mex! You don't have to look far for a salsa-covered burger or a bowl full of chili con queso when you're visiting.
If you grew up in Texas, there's a good chance you have childhood photos wearing what type of costume?
In a state full of ranches, cowboy culture has roots that date back before Texas became a state. It would be tough to find a native Texan who wasn't pushed into a cowboy or cowgirl outfit for at least one set of cute photos. It's a Texas thing!
Every year, thousands of Texans enter what sort of cook-off?
As if the barbecues aren't enough Texas goodness, chili cook-offs are a huge deal around the Lone Star State. Many cook-offs — like the Terlingua International Championship Chili Cook-off — host over 200 hundred chili cooks and stretch over days of competition.
Wikicommons by lucianvenutian
Would you traditionally be served white bread or wheat bread with your Texas barbecue?
Generally speaking, when you order barbecue in Texas, you order it by the pound. Your slab of meat always comes with a few side dishes and one other element. It wouldn't be Texas barbecue without at least a few slices of plain white bread.
Jung Getty/Moment/Getty Images
Instead of a ham or turkey for a holiday dinner main course, what would a Texan serve?
Brisket is a cut of beef that comes from the cow's chest, and it's a Texas specialty. Whether it's smoked for hours or slow-roasted in the oven, it's one of the state's most popular cuts. Franklin Barbecue in Austin sells over 10,000 lbs of it every week.
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If you turned on a local new station on a Friday night in Texas, who might you see being interviewed?
Like we said before, there's nothing bigger in Texas than high school football. It's taken so seriously that local football players are often interviewed after games, just like NFL superstars!
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What phrase might a Texan traditionally use that sounds like pity more than the insult it actually is?
In both the American South and in Texas, "bless your heart" is another way of saying that you're kind of an idiot. It sounds well-intended, but it's really an expression that means someone is a bit confused by something you just said or that you deserve it.
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