I’m Just an Okie from Muskogee

Welcome Tina Radcliffe, Author of Claiming Her Cowboy! 




Book Description

Attorney Jackson Harris regularly goes toe-to-toe with the world’s toughest lawyers—but none of them compare to Lucy Maxwell. The feisty director of Oklahoma’s Big Heart Ranch for orphans is as stubborn as she is pretty. But Jack must stay focused; he’s only there to evaluate the ranch’s funding. Falling for Lucy and the sweet children she protects is out of the question. Though Lucy is determined to keep the ranch, she’s not about to give control to a city slicker—even a devastatingly good-looking one. But as they bump heads, Jack and Lucy gradually nudge open their hearts. Could a temporary cowboy become a permanent part of Lucy’s life?




A big 2018 HELLO, to the Fillies of Petticoats & Pistols!

One of my very favorite places to set a story is in Oklahoma. I’m partial to the state after living there more than seventeen years. To me, there’s nothing sweeter than an Oklahoma drawl.

My blog title comes from the Merle Haggard song, and I apologize if you now have that tune in your head all day. The song is nearly fifty years old and while the lyrics may be a tad bit dated, the sentiment is not.

It parallels the philosophy of the Oklahoma cowboy. There are cowboys and ranches in all fifty states, there’s something special about an Oklahoma cowboy, especially the way he thinks and the way he talks. He’s hard-working, loyal, an all-American patriot who loves Okie football, and when he opens his mouth to speak I’m swooning a little.

Oklahoma dialect is unique although depending on where you’re from in the state it can overlap with Texas and Arkansas speech patterns. This is why you’ll hear terms like“y’all and “fixin’ to,” across borders. With the mobility we see today in the job market, much original Okie dialect is watered down. It’s also watered down or erased by Oklahomans purposely to avoid the stereotype that confuses language with culture.

When writing the Oklahoma cowboy for my new series from Love Inspired, Big Heart Ranch, I let a secondary character, old wrangler named Dutch Stevens, spin the Oklahoma dialect most of the time with some help from five-year-old named Dub Lewis, because too much dialect from primary characters can take away from the reading enjoyment.

There’s a charm and music to speaking Okie and nothing makes me happier than overhearing a conversation where the speaker says “I’m fixing to get some chicken fried steak, but first I’m going to stop at the QT for some pop.”

Speech patterns for true Oklahoma dialect are slow, methodical, and often with pauses if the sentence is more than a few words. Oklahoma-speak can often be pinpointed by the identification of certain terminology and there is an entire lingo that is unique to the state.

If you want to get a real taste for Oklahoma cowboy in particular, take a look at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum website. Check out the Cowboy page and the videos here. The museum is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

There’s no definitive dictionary of Okie terms because Oklahoma is diverse and culture and environment play into the mix. But I can tell you that my arrival in Tulsa from New York was a culture shock.

People shut off the light instead of turning it off. They put groceries in sacks instead of bags. They ate salary instead of celery too. Fish and chips meant catfish and fries. Football fell into two categories Sooners or Cowboys. Liquor stores were closed on Sunday and there was a church on every corner.

Then there were those strange words like:

Mere – Mirror

Skeeter – Mosquito

Soda – Pop

Agg – Egg

QT – Quick Trip Convenience Store (Home of Lamar)

Chicken Fried Steak – See to Understand

Chigger – Mites

OKC – Oklahoma City

T-Town – Tulsa

Tony Lama – Western boots

PeeKahn – Pecan

My Ideal Oklahoma Cowboy

To create my ideal Oklahoma cowboy I take my favorite Oklahoma terminology and culture and then sprinkle in Western speak and lingo. If you’re a city slicker, you can find some fun and helpful Western speak here and here.


Have you got any Okie-isms of your own? Do you speak Okie or Cowboy Okie?

Leave a comment today and I’ll be sending a print copy or digital copy of Claiming Her Cowboy to three commenters along with a fun Western surprise. If you’ve already read the book, I’ll send a thank you and a fun Western surprise.







Originally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. Her move to Colorado led to a career as a library cataloger. A 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner, she has won first place in over twenty RWA chapter affiliated contests in her career and she is on the RWA Honor Roll. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over two dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

Stay up to date on all her releases and fun giveaways by signing up for her newsletter here. Visit her on the web at http://www.tinaradcliffe.com Facebook Twitter













Guest Blogger


  1. Good morning Tina- I certainly understand the Okie language. I’m orignally from Texas but the past 23 years I’ve lived in Kansas, my husband’s family all lives in Oklahoma. My county here in KS nestles up to OK. I can be in Guymon, OK in 30 minutes. I’ve known a lot of TX, OK, & KS Cowboys, they are so much alike, yet there are a few distinguishing differences, too. I will say everyone one I’ve ever met in OK have been extremely kind and polite in manners, but I think that’s just the way us country folks are. I’ll say I’m a Texas A&M, Oklahoma COWBOYS, (not never ever, nor will I be a sooner fan), and a Kansas State fan. Yep you guess it, I’m an agriculture girl who follows those 3 schools who support Ag. Thanks for visiting and your book sounds amazing. Happy 2018 to you!!

    1. Hi Tonya! And ranchers and aggies do love their football, right? Great to be here and thank you for taking the time to comment today! BTW, I agree, Okies are the friendliest folks around.

  2. Good morning and yes I sang the title! I’ve never lived in Oklahoma so I do not have any Okie habits thank goodness since I’m a Texan! Lol I do know many Okies thougg and I reckon they’re okay. Oklahoma tends to be most Texans rivalry state I guess you know. I would love to read one of your books. I’m always looking for a new author to add to my go to authors list and there’s no bettee way to do that than by winning one! Happy New Year!

    1. There is no more fun rivalry than Texans and Okies? Great to see you, Stephanie! And thanks for the kind words.

      1. That should have been ! not ? I haven’t had my coffee yet!

  3. I don’t know any Oklahoma speak, but have visited relatives in Texas several times.
    Texans also have a language all their own.
    You are a new to me author and I’m looking forward to reading your book.

    1. Estella! What a lovely name. Delighted to meet you. Thanks for taking time to stop by.

  4. From looking at your list, I guess I do speak some Okie. But then again, I do live in Texas, so I’m close.

    1. LOL, Janine. It does bleed over the region. 🙂

  5. I’m from Tennessee so we have our own language but sounds like they are very similar. I have visited The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and it is amazing. I had always wanted to go and we did last summer.

  6. I’m from TN so we have our own language but they are similar. I am been to The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and it is amazing.

  7. I guess I do speak some Okie myself because I am from Kentucky and we have our on terms and yes a pop is not a soda here. Your book sounds really good and I would love to read it. Thanks for the great post.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, QUILT LADY! And thanks for the sweet words!

  8. My mom’s side of the family moved to Indian Territory after the Civil War, where my grandfather was born and later on his kids in the state of Oklahoma. So although I’m a Northeasterner, I had Okie words and sounds around me all my life. I still have cousins there–to the north and south of Muskogee! who I love to talk to. I also hear Okie all throughout Toby Keith songs which I love.

    Now a confession. The first time I went to Oklahoma on my own as a young adult (a long time ago!), as a Merle Haggard fan, I made sure I went to Muskogee to see the flag flying on the courthouse! Funny, huh?

    Thanks for a great post and Happy New Year!

    1. I love that story, Eliza!! Woo hoo! And I haven’t had a good catfish dinner (with fried Okra) since I left T-town!

  9. I’m stalking your cowboy. I do have to say being from Texas…well let’s NOT talk football. LOL The story sounds great.

    1. Hey, there Ms. Texas. Thanks for stopping by and I looove your Texas Twins on your Love Inspired January release. So adorable.

      No. Let’s not talk football.

  10. I must have some Okie ancestors. I’ve always lived in Illinois, but I use most of those words! My kids say I sound old fashioned, but maybe I just need to move to Oklahoma! Your book looks fantastic! Definitely going on my to buy list!

    1. Julia! Lovely to see you hear at P&P. Just stay out of tornado alley when you consider moving, lol.

  11. There are a few words we speak here in Michigan, surprisingly. Skeeters are definitely what we call those nasty buggers! And Michigan speak has a way of shortening words so “mere” for “mirror” is one I know we all do. I love reading those!

    1. Susan, really the thing that got me the most was shut the light. The first time I heard it I was so confused.

      1. Funny! We say shut the light off. I’ve never questioned it!

  12. Hi Tina!

    Living in Texas, I have a lot of Oklahoma friends. Love the differences, it keeps life interesting. And the neighborhood is definitely colorful during Texas-OU weekend when folks fly the flag of their favored team 😉

    Have to admit, though, the best burger I ever had was in Tulsa at Goldie’s. Oh my gosh. So good. And the next time I’m in OKC, I will definitely visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

    Loved the book. Both times. Looking forward to the next in the series, and I’m glad to hear Dub Lewis continues as a character. He’s adorable.

    1. NANCY! Yeah, I didn’t even mention Texas Oklahoma football. Another animal. hehehe.

      Just got the title for book 3 today! Hurrah. You’ll see it in my newsletter.

  13. I am a Louisiana girl but have lived in many different places over the years. Every area has its own special words or phrases, like Sparta Tn where I currently live. I grew up using many of the Okie words in La. Growing up I was surrounded by refinery workers, rice farmers, ranchers, and cowboys.

    1. Hi Kara!

      It really is fun listening to dialect. Somewhere online there is a quiz that will pinpoint where you are from. So fun.


  14. I enjoyed reading your post today… thanks for sharing… I remember moving once and picking up certain words… it is so interesting how varied a word could sound or mean.

    1. Hi Colleen! You are so right. Thank you for stopping by!

  15. I live in southern Indiana, and they have their own language here! 🙂

    1. Okay, throw some Indiana lingo at me, Susanne. 🙂 I mean besides Peyton Manning and the Colts.

      1. My grandma (now 93) has always lived here! Some of her words – wash sounds like worsh, oil sounds like oral… Something she says often – “I wished I’d knowed ye’s was comin, I’d a made a cake.” And, one of her favorite words is cattywampus – this means very crooked! ?

        1. I have heard cattywampus and love that term!!!! Love her cake saying!!! Too cute.

  16. I was born & raised in Minnesota, so NO, I do not talk like an Okie! 🙂 However, my youngest brother married someone from OK, & moved to OK, so when our family gets together for our annual trip to Branson, we hear my sister in law’s OK accent!

    1. Totally fun, and you Minnesotians have a few neat lingo terms too, Colleen!

      1. Okay, that should have been Barb who is from Minnesota. Ever see that movie with Harry Connick Jr and Renee Zellweger? New in Town? Love that movie. Any of it realistic, Barb?

  17. No Okie-isms really but i do use the terms Skeeter and Soda. And we shut off the light too. LOL Idk i might have some of them. Not sure why though other than being in Utah may be some of it.

    1. Utah! Interesting, Sabrina. I have found that Utah lingo is often similar to Denver lingo.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Hi, Tina!! Great to see you here. I don’t have any Okie-isms as I’m from VA . We do say skeeter, chigger, and I know chicken fried steak. I’ve read this book and its a great one!

    1. Thanks, Sally! I adore chicken fried steak and I’m too lazy to make it. YUM!!

  19. What an interesting post. Amazing how speech patterns differ for one word. I’ve lived in the North East my whole life so no okie speak here. 🙂
    But I can go over to New York and certain parts have their own speak as well. And I mean that in a nice way. I’m looking forward to reading your book
    also as you’re a new Author for me.
    Carol Luciano

    1. Hi, Carol,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m totally with you. Different lingos are fun and interesting. 🙂 I can “hear” a Buffalonian from their accent and speech. Makes me smile like it’s old home week.

  20. I just learn some things from you. Hahaha I’m from NC and we have we have a certain way we talk too. Our relatives live in Iowa and they would say, let’s go get some pop.?? My brother and I had no clue what they were talking about. To our surprise it was coke, in NC we called everything Coke. I love our accents but like Oklahoma it is disappearing with each generation or people moving in.
    My mother-in- law used to say, “ I need to holp cook lunch for church tomorrow.” I had never heard that before and I finally understood what she was saying and holp is also in the Bible. Unfortunately she passed away and I’ve never heard that word spoken again.
    Sorry so long I just wanted to share. I love country talk!!

    1. Pam! Thanks for commenting. Now I’m going to go research holp in the Bible. 🙂

  21. My maternal grandmother was born and raised in Oklahoma.

    1. Lucky you! You have a heritage of Okiness, Kim Hansen! Wear it with pride.

  22. I don’t speak any Okie, and don’t have any connections to Oklahoma. Unless you count doing a report on Oklahoma in 5th grade and watching Thunder games. 🙂

    1. Dear MomIsReading,

      That most certainly counts. Absolutely!!! You are an adopted Okie!

  23. I don’t speak any Okie. I am looking forward to reading Claiming Her Cowboy.Thank you for the opportunity to win.

    1. Hi Emma! Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment! Crossing my toes and fingers for you.

  24. Hi Tina, it is great to see you here and I enjoyed your fun post. I have never been to Oklahoma or met Merle or any other Okee but I have been guilty of asking for a soda to wash down my Peekahn Pie. You don’t have to put my name in the drawing. I will give someone else a chance to enjoy Lucy, Jackson and little Dub as much as I did!

    1. Aw, thank you, Connie the Librarian. Gosh now I’m hungry for some Pehkan pie with niller ice cream.

  25. My granddad had a farm in Hooker, Oklahoma. I visited every summer for two weeks. Best time in my life, I would be honored to read your book. Thanks for the chance .

    1. Hey there Deana, I do believe you won my book with candles in December..so if your name is pulled you can still win a Western surprise! Hooker, Oklahoma. Now I must go look this one up. Great name

  26. I am originally from NE NY, but had moved around with my husband’s AF assignments and earlier, my Peace Corps assignment. It wasn’t until I did travel that I realized when I got home that my home area actually had an accent and a particular way of speaking. We lived in Colorado Springs and there is a definite cadence and drawl to the western speech. We visited Oklahoma City this past Fall and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum was a must see for us. We spent the whole day there and still didn’t see it all. It is a wonderful museum and if anyone has an opportunity to visit, they shouldn’t miss it. There is a definite pattern of speech in the Oklahoma area. Reba McEntire has that definite “twang.” Every area has its own special catch phrases, word usage, and accent. One of the joys for me when I travel is the use of language and the regional differences. This Yankee is now living in Tennessee and still adjusting to the southernisms and word use.

  27. Patricia B, delighted to read about your travels and you certainly did get to taste a whole lot of accents, didn’t you? I used to read all the Sweet Potato Queen books and so wished I had grown up as a Southern girl. Bless your heart! lolololol

  28. Hey, Tina, I’m an Okie born and bred. So I’m familiar with the language. But I’m from the city so I loved reading your book, it was excellent. Showed me the country side. I had no idea you lived in Oklahoma for 17 years! We need you to move back, girl.

    1. TERRI! You know what, I’d move back in a heartbeat if I could. I’m sure you have plenty of Okie-isms that you are unaware of. Hmmmm?

  29. Tina, I don’t speak Okie but I speak Texas which is very similar. We could understand each other very well. Your book sounds like a great read.

    1. Susan Johnson! Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, Okie and Texan is pretty dang close.

      Thanks for the kind words on my book! 🙂

  30. I don’t speak Okie, but I do speak Dutch, English (the Brittish), German and a little French. Because I am a European citizen.

    1. Annette! I speak pig latin because I am the mother of four. LOL. Thanks for stopping by and I am so impressed you speak actual languages. Where are you in the world at this moment?

      1. Hi Tina, I live in the Netherlands.

  31. Tina, I have lived in Oklahoma but I must admit that I was disappointing.
    I was expecting everyone to be wearing the clothes from Oklahoma musically.
    (Then again I’m from England but have lived here for the last 34 years)

    1. Okay, Kathleen, I laughed at this. I expected the same thing!

      But I will say there are far more cowboys wearing cowboy hats in Oklahoma than in Colorado and I thought that was odd.

      Thanks for stopping by! I think we should break out in song now…

      OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain,
      And the wavin’ wheat can sure smell sweet, When the wind comes right behind the rain.
      OOOOk-lahoma, Ev’ry night my honey lamb and I, Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin’ lazy circles in the sky.
      We know we belong to the land (yo-ho)
      And the land we belong to is grand!
      And when we say
      Yeeow! Aye-yip-aye-yo-ee-ay!
      We’re only sayin’
      You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma!
      Oklahoma O.K.!

  32. I have lived in Illinois all of my life but have used almost all of the terminology you listed. Interesting isn’t it. I would love to win a copy of your book.

    1. Hi Donna!

      That really is interesting. I think we might all be Vulcan mind melding.

      You are entered.

  33. I have to admit I’m afraid sometimes of using lingo, which is probably why I’ve never even thought of trying a cowboy novel.

    I already have the book, though I haven’t read it yet.

    1. Walt, ole’ buddy, ole’ pal. Good to see you. Well, maybe you could write about alfalfa desperados instead of ranchers.

      Move that book up higher on your TBR, right now. hahahahaha

  34. I’m not from OK, nor have I ever visited, but I grew up eating Chicken Fried Steak. And, I know T-town as Tuscaloosa, AL.

    1. Tuscaloosa is T-town too. Har! That’s too cool. Thanks for stopping by Denise. A chicken fried steak lover makes us kin!

  35. Great post, Tina! Thank you for sharing! I live just across the Red River from Oklahoma and we sure enjoy our chicken fried steaks over here too. Why, it’s in a food group all by itself! Those pesky skeeters and chiggers won’t leave us alone and many a person wears Tony Lama’s.

    1. Someone who gets Tony Lama’s. Let’s do some boot scootin’ Miss Melanie! Thanks for taking time to comment today!

  36. No I don’t I’m from Louisiana I would love to read a paperback

    1. Oh, my, Charolette! I love the spelling of your name. It’s musical. I LOVE READERS!!!

  37. Hey, Tina, read it and loved it. Good start to the series. BTW, I put a review on Amazon.
    Hope all is well,
    Kathy Bailey

  38. Well, Kathy Bailey aka Kaybee! I went and looked and I nearly cried at your sweet words. That’s an encouraging word for this cowgirl wannabe. Thank you! All is well with my soul! Hope you are still hitting the words fast and furiously toward your first sale.

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