in a Texas hick, white trash, dumb kinda way


Senior Member

The sentence is this,
"You are handsome in a Texas
hick, white trash, dumb kinda way."

Just wondering, could you say it simply "You are handsome as a Texas hick etc...."?
or you loose something this way?
Movie "Dallas Buyers Club".

Thank you
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No you couldn't without altering the meaning, which is really "You are handsome, even though in some respects you resemble a Texas hick, dumb white trash." It makes his drawbacks sound cute.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    Or might it be: "you look like a dumb, white-trash Texas hick" and the "handsome" is just irony?

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    irony /ˈaɪrənɪ/n ( pl -nies)
    • the humorous or mildly sarcastic use of words to imply the opposite of what they normally mean
    • an instance of this, used to draw attention to some incongruity or irrationality
    • incongruity between what is expected to be and what actually is, or a situation or result showing such incongruity



    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Yes, it could well be a case of irony as sdg says. I haven't seen the film, and chopin didn't provide any context. I'm on the fence too now.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    For a person who is visibly stupid, poor, and lacking in class, you look pretty good.
    Definitely a back-handed compliment to me.


    Senior Member
    Thank you very much, everybody.
    All I can say is that this Texas hick got AIDS and is rushed to hospital after passing out.
    The one who says these words to him is a gay guy who got AIDS too and is in his room.
    And it seems that he really likes the Texas hick, but this one got this phobia of gays and so on.
    He (the Texas hick) is really a hard and bad guy, but got his charm too.


    American English
    Yes, this is the curse of the South. I guess it's "back-handed", but I don't see it that way on this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.

    In the North, we also try to compliment people, while insulting them at the same time.

    The difficulty in your text, chopin (and it's clever writing for the time-frame), is that it's about a guy expressing love for a guy. Platonic or romantic, no matter.

    For Texans (okay, a stretch), there has to be a dig/insult at the same time, so that people don't think that you are gay, when you are expressing affection to a same-sex person.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You did an excellent job of explaining the context, chopin.

    I agree that this is a kind of irony, but a friendly kind of teasing irony.

    The Texan says disparaging things about gay men, but the gay man likes the Texan and the two are going to be friends. So the gay man compliments him "you are handsome" but reminds him of his shortcomings (as most people would see them): he is a hick and white trash. That is, (according to the stereotype) he is too narrow minded and uneducated to know much about what is going on in the world.
    Last edited:
    I think perpend and Cagey, sensitive to the context have made excellent points, and I want to revise my estimate in post #7, that the 'backhand' of the compliment is quite severe and harsh. In fact, and in context, it's 'over the top,' i.e. so extreme and blatant that one should best take it as playful, as when a friend says to you, "I saw you at the symphony and you seemed to greatly appreciate the program--considering you're an ignorant country bumpkin."


    Senior Member
    English, AE
    Just be sure you do not say that to a Texan or in Texas. It is quite offensive. The reality is Texas has long, long ago left that stupid image behind. It's too bad that the perception still lives on.
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