The internet loves to joke that Florida is the craziest state, but if you travel to Norway, they’re more likely to say when something is “crazy” that it’s “Texas.”
This week, the website Texas Monthly learned that Norwegians have a specific slang phrase they use when things get out of hand or chaotic: “det er helt texas!” which translates to “it is completely crazy!”
“So is it a thing in (American) English to use ‘Texas’ as a word for like, something that’s out of control or chaotic, or as like, ‘crazy’?” The Tumblr user LikeTheGhost asked. “Because that is a thing people say in Norwegian.”
“Is this true!?” one Redditor asked. “Can we get some Norwegians in here to verify?”
It turns out this really is a slang term in Norway. News articles have used the phrase to describe a crazy situation and two Twitter users even argued over whether or not the expression should be used since it was out of date and referred to “Davy Crockett’s time period.”
One Tumblr user pointed out that the phrase has little to do with Texas today or Norwegians’ experience with the state and instead stems from Hollywood representations of Texas with cowboys, gun shows, and shoot outs. It isn’t even a new phrase and dates back several decades.
“It’s something that brings to mind chaotic, crazy conditions, like the ‘Wild West,”
Tumblr user Shellumbo explained. “When I was a kid in the ’80s, I thought that all American cowboys came from Texas, and that’s just how it was. Texas = land of the cowboys. And rodeos. And the Wild West.”
Tech Insider reached out to a source who has family that lives in Norway, and she confirmed that “Texas” is indeed used to describe a situation that is “really wild [and] crazy.”
“[My relative] is a teacher and she said a way she could use it would be ‘I came into the classroom and the kids were acting crazy. It was Texas!'” she told TI, adding that the phrase stems from associations with the Wild West and cowboys shooting at one another.
So the next time you’re in a situation where everything seems crazy or out of control, remember “det er helt texas.”
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