30 Things Only True Austinites Know

30 Things Only True Austinites Know

30 things only true Austinites know will make your visit to Austin, Texas so much richer! We are bringing you the insider’s perspective on the language spoken by real Austinites with this list of 30 secret words and sayings. If you’re looking to fit into Austin’s diverse culture, arm yourself with the insider language that real Austinites use every day. Check out this list of sayings only the true locals know – from old standbys to fresh entries.

Please find out more about Texini, the leading Texas lifestyle brand defined by its celebration of the Lone Star State’s culture, heritage, and values.

Kay Keeton, Editor in Chief

From Aggies to Texas Rollergirls

Aggies: In Austin, this term is used to refer to Texas A&M University students.

“Aggies” is a term used by Austinites to describe students who attend Texas A&M University. Commonly referred to as TAMU, this university is located in nearby College Station and is one of the largest public universities in the United States. Locals might be heard saying, “Hey, watch out for that Aggie crossing the street,” or, “That bar has become an Aggie hangout.”

Bats & Bat Fest

30 Things Only True Austinites Know

Bats – Meaning a huge swarms of bats that gather in Austin each spring. Said to be the world’s largest urban bat colony, millions of Mexican free-tailed bats have made their home in downtown Austin since 1980. Each evening, these bats take to the Austin skies and can often be seen and heard stretching their wings as they search for food or travel to and from nearby lakes. Seeing them is a must-do for all visitors, residents, and true Austinites.

30 Things Only True Austinites Know

Bat Fest is a yearly event celebrating Austins’ nightly event, the flight of millions of bats from under the Congress bridge. Date is still to be confirmed for 2023 for this very popular event. The festival is usually held in August and celebrates this natural phenomenon with live music, food & drink vendors, as well as arts and crafts along with other scheduled events.

Green belt: The Greenbelt is a huge park in the center of the city with lots of trails and recreational activities. 

The Greenbelt is an ideal place for walking, biking, rock climbing, fishing, and swimming. It’s also a great spot to catch a gorgeous sunset as the vibrant colors reflect off the Barton Springs Pool. Locals flock to the green belt in search of adventure, to get their daily dose of exercise or just to escape Austin’s hustle and bustle.

Texas (Trailer Park) Rollergirls: These all-female roller derby teams provide an exciting spectacle to watch!

Texas Rollergirls is a flat-track roller derby league based in Austin, Texas. They bring together women from diverse backgrounds to skate and compete against other teams around the city. As a spectator sport, it’s highly entertaining, with plenty of bone-crunching action and hilarious displays of physicality! Whether you’re a rookie or an expert, you’re bound to be an avid fan of this fun yet competitive activity.

Float the River – Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas

Float the river: A popular summertime activity in Austin is tubing down nearby rivers.

This is perhaps the most leaked Austin Texas ‘secret’ in our 30 Things Only True Austinites Know. Tubing, or floating the river as it’s known locally, is a favorite summertime activity among locals. Thousands of Austinites flock to local rivers each weekend in the hot Texas sun. All you need is an inner tube and some friends to enjoy a day of taking in the sights, sounds, and community that tubers have come to know and love.

From “Gittin my Texas on” to SoCo

Gittin my (or your) Texas on

Gittin’ my Texas on in Austin means kickin’ back, relaxing, and taking time to do your favorite Austin things from favorite foods, favorite Austin hangouts, backyard BBQs, outdoor sports, biking, or whatever your favorite things are. It is taking time for yourself just to enjoy what Austin and Texas have to offer. It could be heading to Town Lake or enjoying Austin’s vibrant nightlife. With so much to see and do in Austin sometimes you have to ‘git your Texas on’ and experience the adventure.

Brisket: Smoked beef cut from the chest of a cow.

A staple of traditional Texas barbecue, brisket is a flavorful cut of meat prepared in pit barbecues by smoking it low and slow with indirect heat. Used mostly for making sandwiches, brisket can also be used to make other dishes like stew, chili, tacos, and even breakfast bowls.

Alex Jones

Alex Jones is a favorite among conspiracy theorists and was most recently touted by former President Donald Trump, however, people in Austin Texas knew him from when he hosted a local public access show. Jones speaks of conspiracy theories and is the founder of Infowars, a website that promotes various conspiracy theories. He is based in Austin, Texas.

As a saying “Alex Jones” means you enjoy delving into conspiracy theories or other unusual theories. Alex Jonesing something is putting your own conspiracy (or unusual) spin on popular theories. Jones has been highly criticized and his views and statements have been widely debunked by experts according to news reports.

30 Things Only True Austinites Know

Cactus Hugger: Environmentalist, eco-friendly person.

A Cactus Hugger is an environmentalist or someone who is environmentally friendly. Austin is known for its aversion to big industry and development, and these people often lead the charge in conservation efforts. Because cactus is one of the plants that grow freely on the Texas plains, Austinites use it as a metaphor for protective environmental practices.


SoCo refers to South Congress Street. South Congress (SoCo) is a popular street in Austin, Texas, known for its vibrant and eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.

From Y’all to Texas Tea, 30 Things Only True Austinites Know


Y’all is one of the most popular slang words in Austin, Texas and it simply means “you all”. It is used as a plural pronoun, similar to we/us or they/them, to refer to a group of two or more people. When in doubt about how to address a whole group of people, just say “y’all.”

Chillin’ in Austin

Chillin, or chillin’ in Austin is another way of saying relaxing or taking it easy without any kind of pressure involved. Usage examples: Just chillin’ in Austin today, hangin out at Zilkers, or We’re just chillin’ tonight on Sixth street.

The Drag

The drag is another popular slang word that you will commonly hear in Austin, Texas and it means Guadalupe Street near the University of Texas.

Yeehaw & Howdy

Yeehaw often follows right after saying ‘howdy’ which is like an official greeting in Texas–it shows enthusiasm and excitement while still being polite and friendly at the same time! Usage example: Howdy yee-haw! Ready for some BBQ?

Texas Tea

Texas tea refers to very strong alcoholic beverages made from various liquors. Austinites tend to embrace this phrase with some of their pastimes leaning towards dive bars and a vibrant nightlife. Many local Austin bartenders have their own signature ‘Texas Tea’, or you can opt to ask for your own custom Texas Tea!

From Cedar Fever to Wurstfest

Cedar Fever

Cedar Fever is a seasonal allergic reaction that affects some people who are sensitive to the pollen produced by the Ashe juniper tree, also known as the “mountain cedar” tree. Symptoms typically include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion. The condition is most common in the Hill Country region of Texas, but can also occur in other areas where the Ashe juniper tree is found. The pollen season typically runs from December to March.  

Fixer Upper 

Fixer-upper mainly stands for a term used during real estate transactions where investors purchase single-family homes at discounted prices & undertake repairs & renovations before reselling these homes again at a premium price. Although a common phrase, it became synonymous with the Texas area when the interior design TV series out of Waco, Texas with Joanna and Chip Gaines, Fixer Upper debuted in 2013.

30 Things Only True Austinites Know


Cenote is a term used by Austinites when referring to cooling off in a natural swimming hole or spring.

The Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk

The Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk: Can be described as the ‘heart’ of the city – one of the most iconic places in Austin located along Town Lake, with a special place in many residents’ hearts.


Wurstfest is easily one of Austin’s favorite quasi-annual music festivals that has become synonymous with beer and bratwursts since its creation in 1973. Although not officially held in Austin but rather in New Braunfels, many Austinites make the 50-mile trek south to attend. Austinites also have Wurstfest parties around the same time in honor of the yearly event.

From Dillo Day to Frequenting Food Trucks

30 Things Only True Austinites Know

Dillo Day

“Dillo Day” is a long-standing tradition at the University of Texas campus honoring Armadillos, which have become mascots of sorts for Texan culture due to their prevalence throughout the area.

South by

South by is short for SXSW, South by Southwest Festival, which is a yearly festival and event to what is arguably one of the largest tech conferences taking place each spring right in your own backyard (or downtown). 

The Cathedral Doors

The Cathedral Doors is an expression used in many ways by Texans and Austinites. Basically, it is an architectural detail that can be found at some popular churches around town such as St David’s Episcopal Church which was placed there after World War II as a wish for peace across Europe.


BomboBillys is a term used to reference great BBQ joints. There are several local spots offering delicious barbeque meals where locals love their beef ribs smothered in a homemade sauce made according to a secret family recipe! 

Frequenting Food Trucks

Frequenting Food Trucks is a term used to describe some Austinites’ favorite food pastime. Frequenting Food trucks where you’ll find something for everyone -from tacos to quesadillas, vegan bowls, barbecue sandwiches, or Italian dishes – locals know nothing beats grabbing something on the go from these mobile eateries dotted around downtown streets like East 6th Street or The Lamppost Art Park!  

Of course, 30 Things Only True Austinites Know, includes Austins’ thriving food scene with many options for all types of cuisine.

From Yo Croissants to Dirty or Rainey, 30 Things Only True Austinites Know

Yo Croissants

Yo Croissants, although not unique to Austin, Autinites have adopted the phrase due to how infectious it is. Simply put you say it when smiling, joking, out of excitement, or just goofing off in general.

Grabbing Tacos From Joe’s & Breakfast Tacos

Grabbing Tacos From Joe’s typically refers to eating classic breakfast tacos usually enjoyed every morning just before starting the day. Although not specific to a brand name since most are small mom ‘n pop, food trucks, pop-ups, and other walk-up or small hole-in-the-wall Tex Mex vendors (Yo Croissants, not named Joe’s!). With many locations in and around Austin, local taco joints provide excellent, fresh ingredients while being easy on the wallet.

Breakfast Tacos, although it is debatable who or where they were invented, Austin definitely put breakfast tacos on the map. Breakfast is an English word and taco is a Spanish word making this Tex-Mex dish double special. Even before being highly touted by people other than Texans, Austin has been the taco ‘matron’ so to speak.

Fixin’ to

Fixin’ to is a unique phrase that many Texas native speakers still use today. Fixin’ to basically means to get ready to do something or that they are about to do it soon, such as going to do something. This can also be heard in other parts of the South but is rarely used by people who aren’t considered true Texans! Austinites love their fixin’ to which also denotes either excitement about doing something or lack of excitement depending on the tone of voice used.


ACL is short for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. This internationally acclaimed music festival draws thousands of people together yearly over 3 days at Zilker Park with over 8 stages hosting some Grammy® awardee talents putting out amazing shows filled with electric atmospheres from huge name superstars like Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cure, etc…

Dirty or Rainey

Dirty refers to a portion of Sixth Street from Congress to I-35 with shot bars and college kids while Rainey (Street) refers to the eastern edge of downtown with bungalow bars, live music, clubs, and great food.

There are many more Austinite phrases that we have not touched on here such as Keep Austin Weird a popular slogan and cultural movement in Austin, Texas. Don’t be surprised if you hear other phrases that are not common outside of Austin, Texas. Austinites are known to “think outside of the box” giving Austin that distinct, unique flavor of “Texas Speak’.

30 Things Only True Austinites Know includes a vibrant lineup of late-night music venues along with exceptional drinks and food. There’s nothing quite like experiencing Austin’s nightlife—with venues located throughout the city hosting live bands every day no matter what kind of music you prefer—you are guaranteed to have a great time!

In Conclusion, 30 Things Only True Austinites Know

In Conclusion, Austin is a unique community that is always evolving and some say it is losing some of its flavor due to being watered down by newbies. However, in true Austin tradition, Austinites somehow make change into an explosion of flavors both new and old. If you don’t mesh with one part of town, just head to another. Austin Texas lifestyle and charm have something for everyone!


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What are people from Austin Texas like?

People from Austin, Texas, are known to have a laid-back attitude and welcoming spirit. They love their hill country living and enjoy the warm climate. They also pride themselves on Austin’s blend of art, music, and culture that can be found throughout the city. With a population made up of both students and established professionals, Austinites are often seen enjoying an eclectic mix of activities such as sailing on Lady Bird Lake, grabbing a bite at one of the many food trucks in town, or attending a local music festival like SXSW or ACL.

Kay Keeton, Ed.

Editor in Chief, Kay Keeton - Texas Lifestyle Expert. Kay is a designer turned author, marketer, storyteller, and influencer. A sixth-generation Texan, Kay is both an authority as well as being passionate about sharing her home state of Texas's diverse culture and lifestyle. Kay is a content writer and editor of content for various local and national online publications.

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