Want to sound like a born and bred Oklahoman? Here are a few tips for how to blend in with the locals and not give yourself away as an outsider.
I now pronounce you…
Should you make the big move to Oklahoma City know that we call ourselves Okies rather than Oklahomans. Once you live here long enough to know the local coffee shops and give folks directions, you can consider yourself an Okie too:)
There are a little over 160 cities in Oklahoma but THE city is Oklahoma City. When you hear anyone say they live, work or are traveling to the city, they are talking about good old OKC.
Know your cattle
Cattlemen and women have been a staple in Oklahoma for ages as have the profitable farms and ranches that result from their efforts. Oklahoma State University’s Agricultural Economics department reported that in 2014 Oklahoma ranked fifth in the nation for total cattle inventory. The state’s beef exports makes Oklahoma a force to be reckoned with. You don’t have to throw out these stats in a casual conversation but you should at least aim to know the difference between a cow, a steer and a bull.
And your fish.
Oklahoma has more than 200 lakes and is home to over 40 species of fish according to Oklahoma’s Wildlife Department. Avid fishermen and women can fish year round and catch some of the more popular fish in Oklahoma’s waters including walleyes, catfish, crappies and bass. Check out travelok.com for a list of fishing festivals across the state.
Yes, we talk about our guns.
According to DemographicData.org, about 43 percent of Oklahoma residents are gun owners and there are close to 70 gun ranges across the state. Gun shows are common events in the Sooner State and talk pertaining to guns can be overheard far long after you leave Academy Sports and Outdoors.
Red Earth Festival in June is a great cultural experience in Oklahoma City. Tribes nationwide gather. @VisitOKC #SeeOKC #LocallyLoved #VEM pic.twitter.com/yyb46ML7XZ
— CTA Network (@ctanetwork) May 9, 2017
Not long after you arrive in OKC you’ll realize that just about everyone you meet who was born here has Native American roots. The name Oklahoma itself comes from the Choctaw words, “oklah homma” which translates to “red people.” Native Americans inhabited Oklahoma centuries ago and remained on the land when other tribe members migrated to Oklahoma between 1830 and 1850 during the devastating Trail of Tears. Native American culture is celebrated proudly today in Oklahoma where about 40 tribal communities are headquartered.
The correct answer here is always ‘Sooner!’ Proud University of Oklahoma football fans will shout this Marco Polo lookalike mantra at football games, in bars and all over social media whenever game day draws near. If you want to fit in whenever you hear someone shout ‘boomer!’ always reply with ‘sooner!’
Equally renowned as the boomer sooner call is the “Go Pokes” shout out. Instead of broadcasting OU pride however, this one is reserved for fans of Oklahoma State University’s football team.
Ever wanted to see real bull riding in a bar? You’ve come to the right place! Cowboys night club in Oklahoma City is known for both its live in-house bull riding contests on Friday and Saturday nights and the impressive line dancing that is sure to lure you onto the dance floor. Don’t worry about looking like a pro while dancing though! Anyone who is willing to try their hand at two-stepping is welcome in this crowd and not knowing the moves just might earn you a cute dance partner.
Tucked away in North Oklahoma City and conveniently across the street from an I-Hop, is Edna’s bar, established in 1980. This little bar is a big hit with Oklahomans who rave about the famous “lunchbox” drinks that are served. Edna’s original lunchboxes are made by mixing Coors Light beer, amaretto liqueur and orange juice. If you want to be initiated into Oklahoma City with friends and drinks you need to make a stop by Edna’s, sign and post a dollar bill onto the wall and order a lunchbox.
Whether you are dilly dallying or lollygagging is determined by the critic. If you are one to take your time running errands however, expect to be called out by someone who will use one of these terms. If there’s an Okie grandma in the house, your chances of one of these descriptions being thrown around is tenfold.
Chicken Fried Steak
There’s no chicken in this dish. Instead, chicken fried steak is beef that is fried on a pan. Each cook seems to have his or her own recipe that involves adding more ingredients than simply beef, flour and oil to this southern delicacy. Cattleman’s Steakhouse is located in Oklahoma City’s historic Stockyard City, is Oklahoma’s oldest continuously operating restaurant, and is a great place to try chicken fried steak while getting a taste of the state’s culture at the same time