That’s totally Texas! Norwegians use the word ‘Texas’ as slang

A Spanish street performer dressed as a cowboy. Europeans have long been fascinated with the American West. Juanedc.com/flickr (CC BY 2.0)
A Spanish street performer dressed as a cowboy. Europeans have long been fascinated with the American West. Juanedc.com/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Linguistics…it just rolls of the tongue doesn’t it?

While I don’t profess to be a linguistics expert, I do enjoy a good foray into the field from time to time.

One such example is an article I wrote a while back, kind of tongue-in-cheek if you will, about the origins of the Australian slur. It’s all down to their drunken, booze-drinking ancestors.

I was a bit out of my league, but thankfully I had a ton of sources to pull from. It even took me a total of FIVE websites and translators to come up with this phrase:

G’day, cobber! Let’s hit the turps and get ta talkin’ Aussie.

Today, I came across another bit of linguistic fun that I had no intention of tackling. Luckily, University of Texas Arlington’s Laurel Stvan had already done to hard work for me.

NOTE: If you haven’t dabbled in The Conversation, you’re truly missing out. TRULY. Everything is written by the researchers. From the horse’s mouth so to speak.

In her article, Stvan details an interesting linguistic phenomenon going on in Norway, where the word “Texas” is slang for “crazy.”

For several years, in fact, “Norwegians have used the word to describe a situation that is chaotic, out of control, or excitingly unpredictable (The crowd at the concert last night was totally Texas!).”

Stvan, since she’s an expert, kinda digs this natural extension of the word Texas.

And since I’m from Texas, so do I.

What it all boils down to is this: Many Europeans love the iconic Wild West. As Stvan says, “Throughout much of Europe the image of the American Wild West appeals to a set of beliefs (perhaps stereotypical or false) about the apparent freedom and lawlessness in the West during the 19th century.”

She calls it “cultural aspiration.” Love that phrase.

You can read the entire article in full here.

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7 thoughts on “That’s totally Texas! Norwegians use the word ‘Texas’ as slang

      1. I just learned another fun word from a friend in Germany. She says they refer to a rare steak as “English.”

        WAITER: Can I take your order?

        ME: Yes. I would like a totally Texas English please.

        heehee

        Like

  1. British refer to very rare steak as blue. Germans observed the British tourists asking for very rare steaks and saw that as a uniquely British characteristic.

    Texas, has acquired a crazy cache internationally, not just for the old Wild West iconography, but also for current perceptions towards social norms & values – capital punishment, anti-evolution, treatment of blacks & gays. Whether the perception is a distortion created through media or not, it has become an extension of the 19th century Wild West persona. Like any over simplified image, it has become a stereotype that contains both positive & negative characteristics.

    Liked by 2 people

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