All Hat and No Cattle

0 comments Posted on May 26, 2021

by Deb DeArmond

I was a lifelong Californian for 45+ years. The move to Texas was . . . interesting. Sometimes confusing, but always entertaining.

If you’ve visited the Lone Star state, you may have noticed they talk funny. I’m not referencing the drawl, which I find quite charming. I’m talking about the unique, mystifying, and downright laugh-out-loud colloquialisms that roll out effortlessly and with great frequency.

My new neighbor placed me on notice: “We like ya, girl. Even if you wasn’t born here.” Rusty was about 80 and I never saw him without his cowboy hat and boots. Texas born, he became my interpreter of the slang that’s second nature here.

  • We’re fixin’ to. You’re about to go to eat, to church, somewhere.
  • Bless your heart. Sounds nice, yes? It’s not. It implies you’re not real bright.

My personal favorite, however, is “All hat and no cattle.” That one mystified me. It describes a person who’s a big talker, but rarely delivers the goods. Someone who never follows through on his promises.

Reminds me our great God is a promise keeper. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so, through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV).

How can we follow His lead? The secret is to be careful what you promise; and once the promise is made, move heaven and earth to deliver!

Psalm 50:10 tells us God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. But a cowboy hat? You never know!

Deb DeArmond is a writer and speaker. She often writes on marriage and family, but her newest book, Bumper Sticker Be-Attitudes, is a humor-tinged devotional for the busy believer seeking deep truths with a chuckle on the side. Find her at booksellers and online at and


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