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In Norway, If It's Crazy, It's 'Texas'

It's not quite as derogatory as it sounds
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2015 7:48 AM CDT
In Norway, If It's Crazy, It's 'Texas'
Horse trainers walk the horses to the gates before the eighth race at Lone Star Park Monday, May 25, 2015, on a rainy day in Grand Prairie, Texas.   (Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

In Norway, the idea of Texas isn't exactly nuanced. "Texas = land of the cowboys," one Norwegian Tumblr user wrote last May. "And rodeos. And the wild west. A Western movie? Probably from Texas." So it should come as no surprise that Norwegians use the word "Texas" as slang for "crazy"—and they've been doing it for, well, decades, reports Texas Monthly, with writer Dan Solomon bemusedly noting that "it’s fascinating to realize just how far and wide our fabled culture spreads." One commenter explains on Reddit that the phrase is "basically an idiom" now in Norway. "When I think of the word I picture a cowboy crashing a party and shooting two revolvers into the air. 'It's completely texas!!'"

There are a few choice uses of the somewhat affectionate noun-turned-adjective floating around the Internet, notes Texas Monthly, including a former Norwegian soccer star who in 2012 described in the tabloid Verdens Gang the mood at a match as "helt texas," where "helt" means totally or completely. Even a fisherman, upon seeing a rare swordfish, told the local news, "I got to see some of it before I took up the camera. It was totally texas!" E! Online likes the idea of turning a state into a slang term based on its stereotype so much that it drew up a list of 10, including Colorado to mean "stoner," Massachusetts to mean "rude," and California to mean "fake." Which is, of course, helt texas. (Here are eight Canadian words you might not understand.)

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