Stories from Texas

Stories from Texas > All Episodes

July 16, 2020

Dichos

By: W.F. Strong

By W. F. Strong and Lupita Strong 

Dichos are proverbs. Dichos is a Spanish word for wise sayings, clever maxims, humorous perspectives that can guide you well. Dichos are life coaches, lighting a pathway that, if followed, can make our lives better and less painful. Dichos are nuggets of wisdom that are handed, like gold, from parents to children to enrich their lives.  They exist in all languages of course, but here in Texas we get the benefit of having them in English and Spanish. Sometimes they’re similar, but sometimes they’re vastly different in both content and expression.  

I’ve collected a few of my favorite dichos to share. I’m grateful to my diaspora of Hispanic friends who sent in an avalanche of suggestions which helped me remember some I’d forgotten and taught me a few new ones as well. To spare you from my inadequate Spanish rhythms, I’ve brought in an authentic voice to help out. Vámonos!

There are many dichos about the value of keeping your mouth shut: 

En boca cerrada, no entran mosca. Keep your mouth shut and no flies will get in. 

El pez por la boca muere. Fish die through their mouth. 

There are many dichos about love, of course. Here are two about long distance love:

Amor de lejos es amor de pen#$%&@ – well, can’t finish that one here, but I’m sure – if you know some Spanish – you can. Long distance love is a love for DANG fools. 

And there’s a corollary:  Amor de lejos, felices los cuatro. Long distance love makes four people happy. 

Here are two about the best laid plans: 

Del plato, a la boca… se cae la sopa. From the bowl to the mouth, you can lose your soup. Or, Del dicho al hecho, hay mucho trecho. From planning to doing, much can go wrong. 

Now for a few about being a good person. 

Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres. Tell me who you run with and I’ll tell you who you are. 

Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda. A monkey in a silk dress is still a monkey. Lipstick on a pig.  

El burro hablando de orejas. The donkey talking about ears – hypocrisy. 

And for lazy people we have these cautionary dichos: 

Camaron que se duerme so lo lleva la corriente and El flojo trabaja doble. Sleeping shrimp get carried away by the current and the lazy one does everything twice. 

The devil often appears in dichos: 

Más sabe el diablo por viejo, que por diablo. The devil is cunning  because he’s ancient not because he’s the devil. 

And here’s the five-second rule in dicho form. When you drop food on the floor you will often hear: Todo para dios, nada para el diablo. All for God, none for the devil.  

Let us end with this timeless jewel: 

Los niños y los borrachos, siempre dicen la verdad. Little children and drunks always tell the truth.  

I’ll drink to that. I’m W. F. Strong. Estas son historias de Tejas. Algunas son verdaderas.


Episodes

November 9, 2023

Found in Translation

For those with a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish, traveling Texas becomes more interesting because the Spanish names of places reveal, or hint at, their histories. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has some examples.

Listen

October 25, 2023

On Censorship

A look at the headlines might sometimes give you a sense of déjà vu — haven’t you read or seen this before? Fights over government shutdowns… a looming presidential race that may pit the same candidates against one another. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has been thinking about this while watching another political debate.

Listen

October 11, 2023

The Legend of La Llorona

All through October, the Texas Standard team is tracking Texas cryptids. As we’ve dug into some of these legends, we’ve noticed a few patterns. First of all, many of the cryptids associated with Texas have roots in Mexico. And there are also some similarities in the back stories of these creatures or characters. Ayden Castellanos […]

Listen

September 27, 2023

‘The Killers of the Flower Moon’ is an Oklahoma story with Texas ties

There’s a much-anticipated film coming out next month. It’s the latest from Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. Texan Jesse Plemons also has a big role — playing a Texan from history. Commentator WF Strong profiled the story when it was told in a bestselling book with the same name as […]

Listen

September 13, 2023

Texas is God’s Country

“Everything’s bigger in Texas” may be one of the most famous sayings about Texas. “Don’t mess with Texas” probably comes in a close second. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has been looking into another well-known saying about Texas.

Listen

August 16, 2023

How the railroad saved Fort Worth

When we’re speaking of the North Texas metroplex — Dallas always gets first billing. It’s DFW… not FWD. But Texas Standard Commentator WF Strong says, at one point, the slightly smaller large city was at risk of disappearing altogether.

Listen

August 3, 2023

The Historical Accuracy of Lonesome Dove

“Lonesome Dove” is one of the most popular Texas novels of all time — with many millions of copies sold since it was first published in 1985. The miniseries that followed in 1989 was the second most popular mini-series of all time, behind “Roots.” But Texas Standard commentator WF Strong says author Larry McMurtry was […]

Listen

July 19, 2023

Texas Spelling Bee

Are there words that just trip you up every time you try to spell them? For the producer writing this script it’s allegience — allegiance — so many vowels. You know it’s bad when Word or Google can’t even make a guess at what you’re going for. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong explores the most […]

Listen