Totally Texas
October 22, 2015 6:16 AM   Subscribe

On behalf of the MeFites of Norway: It has come to our attention that somebody has let slip that "totally Texas" (in Norwegian "helt texas") is used as an expression to convey that some event is crazy or totally out of control. After decades, the Americans now know. An investigation into the leak will be made. Thank you.
posted by Harald74 (132 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
:( C'mon, Norway. Florida is totally worse.
posted by Eyeveex at 6:21 AM on October 22, 2015 [25 favorites]


You know what's helt texas? Texas.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:21 AM on October 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm sure this is a response to our shouting "Norway!" (the R is silent the way we Texans say it) when surprised or incredulous.
posted by ubiquity at 6:22 AM on October 22, 2015 [108 favorites]


Their slang is so arizona.
posted by Catblack at 6:23 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Eyeveex, as Florida Man has taught us, Florida is a description of a person. TFA is quite clear that texas describes a situation.
posted by graymouser at 6:28 AM on October 22, 2015 [12 favorites]


Texas is the uber of crazy.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:35 AM on October 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Our tejanos are literally pants. Denim trousers, I mean.
posted by sukeban at 6:35 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Example: "The party was fine until this florida dude showed up with a bottle of Jägermeister and a Slip 'N Slide, and then everything went completely texas."
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:35 AM on October 22, 2015 [62 favorites]


I like that the Texans want to believe that its continued use is due to historical wildness and cowboys, and not anything about the current behavior of Texans.
posted by tocts at 6:36 AM on October 22, 2015 [36 favorites]


Personally, I'm looking California, and feeling Minnesota.
posted by gwint at 6:40 AM on October 22, 2015 [28 favorites]


Eyeveex and I are on the exact same page. How is this not "helt Florida"?

Maybe to qualify as "helt Florida" you need a publicly naked person or a Darwin Awards-style death.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:40 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Totally Mexico.
posted by colie at 6:42 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Those state executions of railroaded minorities and mentally retarded people are helt texas!
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:42 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I thought the current theory on the Florida thing was a combination of the state's high population and incredibly liberal open records laws? Texas is just crazypants.
posted by Wretch729 at 6:42 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Belgium! They're so unhoopy.
posted by Devoidoid at 6:43 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Since I had my meds adjusted, I've been helt Saskatchewan.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:43 AM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Florida is the Phil Collins of states. Lazy comic shorthand for garbage, but only an asshole won't admit that at least some parts of it are totally awesome.
posted by saladin at 6:44 AM on October 22, 2015 [28 favorites]


Well weapon.
posted by Artw at 6:46 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


You know what was awesome about Florida for me? Leaving it.

(Well, that and never shoveling snow. )
posted by Foosnark at 6:47 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I liked the ICBM museum.
posted by Artw at 6:47 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


So the Omaha Chamber of Commerce occasional tries to rebrand Omaha with little signature phrases, which are generally terrible. "Rare, well done" was one, and one year is was just "O!", which made it seem like the whole town was sponsored by Oprah's magazine.

Recently, they unveiled "Omaha: We Don't Coast," which I think was meant to suggest there is a good work ethic here and act as a rebuke to the idea that we're a flyover place (there's also a local publication called Flyover.)

I didn't like it. Firstly, Omahans, as a whole, don't actually have that good a work ethic, and do tend to coast. Secondly, I think there are some things we could pick up from the coasts, like solid public transportation. And it just sounded like an admission of an inferiority complex dressed up as a statement of pride, which seemed a little sad. Worst of all, it is phrased as a negative, and so doesn't actually tell you anything about Omaha. If we don't coast, what do we do?

But lately I have noticed the phrase taking on an ironic quality online. Whenever the news posts a story about some monumental act of idiocy or some genuinely insane public act, people will cheerfully respond "We don't coast!"

So now I love the phrase, and Norway is welcome to it if they like.
posted by maxsparber at 6:48 AM on October 22, 2015 [31 favorites]


This whole thread is making me feel mildly New Jersey.
posted by jonmc at 6:49 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


(Well, that and never shoveling snow. )

Yeah, but you can shovel the humidity.
posted by Etrigan at 6:49 AM on October 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


saladin: "Phil Collins … at least some parts of (him) are totally awesome."

One bar of a drum break on one song is totally awesome. That's it.
posted by signal at 6:50 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


OK. As a Norwegian, I feel honor-bound to explain a little bit - helt texas originated as shorthand for the wild wild west, where anything goes and there are no rules. It wasn't originally meant as a slur about Texans or crazy Americans. However, after decades of sometimes aggressive US foreign policy, the meaning has started to shift into that direction...
posted by widdershins at 6:52 AM on October 22, 2015 [30 favorites]


Technically that's the Wild West, the Wild Wild West is Steampunk.
posted by Artw at 6:54 AM on October 22, 2015 [25 favorites]


I'm looking California, and feeling Minnesota.

That puts me in a New York state of mind.

(I would be going to Carolina in my mind except A) I'm already there and B) I'm smack out of heroin.)

lately I have noticed the phrase taking on an ironic quality online. Whenever the news posts a story about some monumental act of idiocy or some genuinely insane public act, people will cheerfully respond "We don't coast!"

See also ...
posted by octobersurprise at 6:55 AM on October 22, 2015


Also it seems it basically means the same thing as "cowboy" in the UK.
posted by Artw at 6:56 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


maxsparber: it just sounded like an admission of an inferiority complex dressed up as a statement of pride

Oh, I get a completely different vibe from it. To me, the "We don't coast" thing is definitely a perverse statement of pride. It's extremely anti-coastal; which carries the typical neoconservative baggage of anti-elite, anti-intellectual, anti-all yous guys. It's saying "heck yah, we're flyover. we ain't you liberals." It's basically saying Omaha is full of rednecks. Totally texas, and I hate it hate it hate it.

But then, I'm a transplanted New Hampshirite that's just waiting to GTFO. I coast, bitches.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:57 AM on October 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


Texans are so American.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:57 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


mildly New Jersey.

...Aggressive when driving and smelling of chemical waste?
posted by aught at 6:59 AM on October 22, 2015


saladin: "Phil Collins … at least some parts of (him) are totally awesome."

One bar of a drum break on one song is totally awesome. That's it.

posted by signal

Oh come on, he was excellent when he was the drummer for Peter Gabriel's Genesis. It was only when he decided he was a singer that things went downhill. Also there is a certain, uh, something, in linking Collins with Florida, as he did some of the music for, and appeared on, Miami Vice.
posted by marienbad at 6:59 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Texans are so American.

Sadly, to most of the world, Americans are so Texan. The proudest moments of a recent trip to Barcelona were being mistaken once for German and another time for French.
posted by aught at 7:01 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Being mistaken for an Texan while traveling is definitely worst case Ontario.
posted by congen at 7:03 AM on October 22, 2015 [16 favorites]


We can't discuss Phil Collins without mentioning that he has turned into one of The Alamo's largest supporters and contributors, so he's more Texas than he is given credit for.
posted by maxsparber at 7:05 AM on October 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


Oh come on, [Collins] was excellent when he was the drummer for Peter Gabriel's Genesis.

He also did interesting things like play drums on Brian Eno and John Cale albums.
posted by aught at 7:05 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hey, at least you're not in a Philadelphia (YT link).
posted by Hactar at 7:06 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Personally, I'm looking California, and feeling Minnesota.

Unless you know Minnesota really well, if you are feeling Minnesota, you are standing too close for Minnesota's comfort. Please step back a little; that smile is not really welcoming, it's Minnesota's way of telling you that you need to give it a little more space without actually being rude.

Unless you are all in a bus shelter, huddling together for warmth. Then it's OK, because Minnesota is wearing like 3 coats and a very thick sweater.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:08 AM on October 22, 2015 [28 favorites]


Sadly, to most of the world, Americans are so Texan.

Years ago when we were Unruly Teens some friends and I went to Amsterdam. We were in a bar one night acting the fools and one of the locals was like "where are you assholes from?" And my friend pipes up "America!" and then I do a Bodyguard-like dive in between him and the local and I'm like "New York! We're from New York!" and the guy suddenly perks up and says "New York! Yes!" and turns to his friends to tell them we're from New York and everyone was then cool with us.

This is also why whenever I went abroad with my mom, she mandated I speak only in Russian to her because god forbid someone think we're Americans.
posted by griphus at 7:09 AM on October 22, 2015 [23 favorites]


Really, you should just tell people that you're a Lord of the Principality of Sealand.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:18 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also it seems it basically means the same thing as "cowboy" in the UK.

And to be clear, "cowboy up" is a different thing, generally used as a verb, similar to "man up," which is move ahead and get tough things done.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:25 AM on October 22, 2015


It was fun to be in Europe and have people assume I was from someplace other than the U.S. (Italy? South Africa?) And have them be totally surprised when I told them I'm American, because I'm not an asshole, I'm not loud, obnoxious or annoying. Then I totes blow their minds when I tell them I'm from Texas. It's like they can't believe Texans are not all ravaging dumbasses. They say, pretty much every.single.one "But you're so intelligent".

This thread is thankfully avoiding the worst of Metafilter behavior so far, and I am grateful. I can only hope that it continues.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:32 AM on October 22, 2015 [22 favorites]


Det ser ut som noen rotet med Texas.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:37 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


In defense of Florida & Florida Man... "So perhaps the next time you read a weird-Florida-news story, don't ask why Florida is so weird; ask why you're not hearing about the weirdness in other states. It might have something to do with their lack of open government. "
posted by imbri at 7:40 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


In a rural-ish Denmark marina, I once had someone approach me (swarthy, olive-skinned Jew) and my friend (Jewish/Armenian with a repeatedly broken and set nose) to ask us if we were "from Spain."

Still trying to figure that one out but my instinct was to side-eye.
posted by griphus at 7:41 AM on October 22, 2015


I was visiting Bern and having dinner in an Italian restaurant. When the Italian waiter discovered that I was from America, I got a long diatribe against Bush. He was a little nonplussed when I told him I didn't have a problem with his views. On the other hand, I had moved from Texas by that point.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:42 AM on October 22, 2015


How very Nebraska.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:42 AM on October 22, 2015


Maryland. That is all.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:51 AM on October 22, 2015


Really, you should just tell people that you're a Lord of the Principality of Sealand.

But NOT SeaWorld.
posted by aught at 7:52 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]




And did you know that foreign supermarkets sometimes have an American section over by the "ethnic" food?
posted by Harald74 at 8:10 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


As a native-born Texan, I am neither surprised nor offended.

Honestly, most of my fellow Texans will take it as a compliment. They either have no idea where Norway is, or have a vague sense that it's full of liberals, so their response is likely to be more "FUCK YEAH WOOO" than anything else.
posted by emjaybee at 8:16 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


According to TFA, the expression extends back "for decades."

In 1989, I traveled with my high school chamber choir, from Houston, TX to Stavanger, Norway. We were there for two weeks.

1989 is 26 years ago -- more than two and a half decades ago.

i think this might be my fault
posted by KathrynT at 8:18 AM on October 22, 2015 [25 favorites]


And did you know that foreign supermarkets sometimes have an American section over by the "ethnic" food?

Americans expats always want to be able to get hold of their disgusting, vommity chocolate for some reason.

(I occasionally frequent the UK ethnic foods section of supermarkets here in the U.S., but that is for entirely reasonable things like PG Tips and Twiglets.)
posted by Artw at 8:22 AM on October 22, 2015


As a native Texan, half of me is like, oh god, how embarrassing. The other half of me is like FUCK YEAH, TEXAS!!! YOU KNOW IT! WOOOOO!!! We just can't help ourselves, really.
posted by backwards compatible at 8:24 AM on October 22, 2015 [20 favorites]


"Also it seems it basically means the same thing as "cowboy" in the UK."

Cowboy is a term I hear in the US too. Like "I'll cowboy it" or something like "went in full cowboy" which basically means, guns blazing, reckless, "I'll wing it by the seat of my pants" sort of thing. "Texas" sounds like a cowboying event. Though "rodeo" would be a good choice too for slang. But Norway in hell I'll be saying it.
posted by I-baLL at 8:25 AM on October 22, 2015


Only in Texas could they turn an anti-littering campaign into a declaration of identity. Most other states aren't quite so emphatic about the rules for behavior. But for the record:
Don't make eye contact with Mississippi.
Don't call Oregon after 11 PM.
And don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like Nevada?

-Rich Hall's You Can Go To Hell, I'm Going To Texas
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:33 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Associating pizza with Texas is helt Texas.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:35 AM on October 22, 2015


One thing nearly all Americans can agree on:
"Where I come from, we speak perfect, unaccented English. Everyone else has 'a weird accent'."
 
posted by Herodios at 8:39 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have a friend who regularly describes crazy situations as "Category Five Florida-level batshit." Sometimes he follows this up with "I grew up there. I know what I'm talking about."
posted by thivaia at 8:41 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Cowboy is a term I hear in the US too. Like "I'll cowboy it" or something like "went in full cowboy" which basically means, guns blazing, reckless, "I'll wing it by the seat of my pants" sort of thing.

That usage seems to indicate something more dynamic and spur of the moment than the UK cowboy, which generally means shoddy and and a bit of a scam.
posted by Artw at 8:44 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Let me introduce you to BRIAN WILSON TEXAS LAW HAWK.

So..yeah.
posted by emjaybee at 8:49 AM on October 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


However, after decades of sometimes aggressive US foreign policy, the meaning has started to shift into that direction...

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED


Cowboy is a term I hear in the US too. Like "I'll cowboy it" or something like "went in full cowboy" which basically means, guns blazing, reckless, "I'll wing it by the seat of my pants" sort of thing.

Now I'm wondering if my understanding of "reverse cowboy" is completely wrong ...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:58 AM on October 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Have you ever been to Plano, Texas? Totally Oslo...
posted by ill3 at 8:59 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I live in Florida by choice. I'll admit that the state and its some of its residents aren't the greatest but I happen to love it here. It's not much fun to to come here and see I'm being mocked by association.
posted by _Mona_ at 9:06 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


As a Norwegian, I feel honor-bound to explain a little bit - helt texas originated as shorthand for the wild wild west, where anything goes and there are no rules.

“This isn't 'Nam Texas, this is bowling! There are rules!”
posted by acb at 9:08 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


"That usage seems to indicate something more dynamic and spur of the moment than the UK cowboy, which generally means shoddy and and a bit of a scam."

Wow, that's interesting! I had no clue that it was different over there. I'm wondering how many other slang terms like that seem similar but have different meanings but we don't notice it. Language is so Texas.
posted by I-baLL at 9:10 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't find it at the moment but I am relatively sure there was an AskMe about the differences between 'cowboy' as a slang term between the US and UK.
posted by griphus at 9:29 AM on October 22, 2015


One thing nearly all Americans can agree on:
"Where I come from, we speak perfect, unaccented English. Everyone else has 'a weird accent'."
Oddly, Michiganders don't do this. They're very aware that their flattened vowels and putting an S on the end of stores and suchlike are all weird.
posted by Etrigan at 9:33 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


when my partner and I took a trip through Southeast Asia, we were fairly consistently mistaken for New Zealanders. Which I always found incredibly flattering, but in that complicated way where you get an ego boost off of people thinking you're polite and quiet and non-self-regarding, but then you realize that if you actually let yourself experience that ego boost you'll start presenting as the smug jerk/loudmouth American you really are, deep down inside.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:34 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cowboy is a term I hear in the US too. Like "I'll cowboy it" or something like "went in full cowboy" which basically means, guns blazing, reckless, "I'll wing it by the seat of my pants" sort of thing.


Usually followed by "Hold my beer."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:39 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Americans expats always want to be able to get hold of their disgusting, vommity chocolate for some reason.

It's called peanut butter, and it's not a dessert.
posted by psoas at 9:39 AM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Americans without a midwest accent are generally pretty aware of their accent, and cherish it, and complain endlessly when someone gets it wrong. Midwesterners are typically the ones who think they don't have accents, even when, like Milwaukeeans, they say melk instead of milk, or rural Minnesotans who talk they just flew in from Norway, or South Dakotans who speak in what sounds like a parody of the "Fargo" Minnesota accent.

Minnesotans are a lot more attuned to their accents now, really thanks to Howard Mohr's "How to Talk Minnesotan" and its influence on Prairie Home Companion and the Coens.

As far as I can tell, this sense that midwesterns don't have accents is because Los Angeles was heavily settled by midwesterners during the dust bowl, and their accent replaced the mid-Atlantic accent as the "neutral" accent of choice.
posted by maxsparber at 9:50 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


One thing nearly all Americans can agree on:
"Where I come from, we speak perfect, unaccented English. Everyone else has 'a weird accent'."


Which is what I thought until I lived on the East Coast for a second and suddenly realized that, like, every time I open my mouth all this, like, California spills out?

make sure you read that with rising inflection at the end? like I'm asking a question? even when I'm not?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:51 AM on October 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


Okay as we're having this peaceful cultural exchange here, I have question: the other day I saw a tumblr post (or something) that I am relatively sure was unironic about a British person trying a Hershey bar for the first time and the joke was that he couldn't eat it because it was so bitter.

Did I miss the joke or did the UK somehow figure out how to get even more sugar into a chocolate bar that Hershey's? I know there's lots of people on The Continent who think American milk chocolate bars are godawful because they're, well, mostly not chocolate and too sweet, but if this guy wasn't kidding, what in god's name is sold in the UK under the guise of a chocolate bar? Just a block of sugar painted brown?
posted by griphus at 9:51 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


At this moment I'm leaning toward "I missed the joke" but I've also been watching that Supersizers Go... series and I'm really not about to put anything past the British re: unconscionable food anymore.
posted by griphus at 9:53 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


American chocolate does taste different than British, but I'd describe the taste as blander and waxier. He might have been interpreting the waxiness as bitterness, and have been missing the creaminess of chocolate he was used to.

He's right about one thing, though. I let chocolate bars dissolve in my mouth, and they do burn. I like the burn.
posted by maxsparber at 9:57 AM on October 22, 2015


guilty pleasure admission: I sort of like Hershey's bars. but I don't like them for the same reasons I like chocolate. Instead, I like them for the same reasons why I secretly ate pieces of candle wax when I was six. In a sane world, they wouldn't be labeled as chocolate bars, they'd be labeled as flavored paraffin.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:05 AM on October 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


eating US milk chocolate is how americans atone for the sins of our nation
posted by poffin boffin at 10:07 AM on October 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


Hershey's tastes of vomit, Americans just don't notice that because they are used to it or something.
posted by Artw at 10:12 AM on October 22, 2015


It's possible they were not talking about bitterness, but instead about the fact that Hershey's uses a process that creates butyric acid in the end product, which is literally one of the primary components of the smell of vomit. Basically everywhere outside the US views this as insane, and if you didn't grow up eating Hershey's (or other brands aping their flavor), their chocolate's sour-milk taste is considered disgusting. (Despite having grown up with it, I don't entirely disagree, and have to be in the right mood to eat it).
posted by tocts at 10:13 AM on October 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Texas is the Ted Nugent of states.
posted by y2karl at 10:14 AM on October 22, 2015


Hey, bile is coming back in a big way! We were just foodies before foodies were into bile!
posted by maxsparber at 10:14 AM on October 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


Associating pizza with Texas is helt Texas.

I know, right? Since the state that comes to mind when you think of pizza should obviously be Kentucky.
posted by psoas at 10:46 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


They may be trolling us. I've heard that Norway's already substantial minority troll population will become the majority by 2045 if current trends continue.
posted by pullayup at 11:03 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


For a long time. I've used "Texas-style" to describe something big and over the top, especially if it has some element of machismo. If I remember rightly, it originated from a TV commercial for canned chili or barbecue sauce or something like that.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:09 AM on October 22, 2015


There is a scene in Wild At Heart where our hapless criminal heroes are staying at a trailer park in Big Tuna, Texas, when a group of semi-nude and fairly amply women walk past, laughing, at which point I think Jack Nance cries out with pleasure "They're making a pornographic movie -- Texas style!"
posted by maxsparber at 11:19 AM on October 22, 2015


That's with garlic and butter, right?
posted by griphus at 11:20 AM on October 22, 2015


I don't know what sorts of toppings they put on Texas pornography.
posted by maxsparber at 11:27 AM on October 22, 2015


I don't know what sorts of toppings they put on Texas pornography.

Ro*Tel. Same as in town.
posted by valkane at 11:48 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Florida is the Phil Collins of states. Lazy comic shorthand for garbage, but only an asshole won't admit that at least some parts of it are totally awesome.

I can find parts of every state that are awesome if I look long enough. Dumpster diving can be awesome in the proper frame of mind. Doesn't transform garbage to gold or Phil Collins to Neil Peart.
posted by blucevalo at 12:07 PM on October 22, 2015


"I don't know what sorts of toppings they put on Texas pornography."

I thought they just oiled them up beforehand.
posted by I-baLL at 12:07 PM on October 22, 2015


Related: All Things Considered Story
posted by Hasteur at 12:21 PM on October 22, 2015


I live in Florida by choice. I'll admit that the state and its some of its residents aren't the greatest but I happen to love it here. It's not much fun to to come here and see I'm being mocked by association.

Now you know what it feels like to be from Texas!

I'll echo Annika Cicada's sentiment that this thread has gone much, much better than I feared it would. Unless you're from Florida, I guess.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:34 PM on October 22, 2015


Maryland. That is all.

hey, I resemble that remark, don't be such a DC.
posted by numaner at 12:35 PM on October 22, 2015


The Loon Stare state.
posted by Chitownfats at 12:45 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Whenever I see someone wearing a flannel shirt and they smell of diesel, I slap them with a lobster and say that they are totally helt Maine.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:06 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pennsyltucky - how some of us who grew up inside the city limits of Philadelphia refer to everything outside the city limits - including Northeast Philly. :-P
posted by nikoniko at 1:15 PM on October 22, 2015


Associating pizza with Texas is helt Texas.
I thought this was satire, because nobody would pay 25 dollars for a pizza. But then curiosity got hold of me, and I checked the sites of some random Norwegian pizza-parlors. It turns out 199 kroner is on the cheap side!!
I don't think Norway gets to call other nations crazy that way….
posted by mumimor at 1:29 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Norway population: 5.1m, Texas: 27m. We can assume 1/5th dies instantly of shock at temperatures below 50 F, and another 1/5th dies of exposure.... not looking good, Norway!
posted by Jacen at 2:17 PM on October 22, 2015


I don't know what sorts of toppings they put on Texas pornography.

Ranch dressing and Vaseline?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:20 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I'm wondering if my understanding of "reverse cowboy" is completely wrong ...

No, you're good. But put on some Barry White. That'd be nice.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:41 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know what sorts of toppings they put on Texas pornography.

Saddle soap and salsa picante...
posted by jim in austin at 4:46 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]




America parties are a thing.


Flannel shirts, denim, and red solo cups.

They're not wrong...
posted by The Whelk at 4:50 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


aught: "Sadly, to most of the world, Americans are so Texan. "

When I studied abroad in London, our top-25 American college recommended we all stitch Canadian flags to our JanSport backpacks and LIE and tell people we were Canadian, to avoid violence. TRUE STORY.

I sent this article to my BFF who married a Norwegian, and her Norwegian husband, but I feel I must inform you: Norwegians say "okey dokey" which is a phrase they all learn in American English class. So we might need to take their texaning with a grain of salt or six.

(The Norwegians at the wedding were amazed by a) traffic cops with guns; b) super-tall buildings way taller than anything in Oslo, the rehearsal was on the 66th floor of the Sears Tower; c) the cleanliness of Chicago; and d) stuffed pizza, they were like WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU PEOPLE DONE TO PIZZA AND WHY IS ONE SLICE A WHOLE MEAL.)

In the Netherlands, "American Party" means "going Dutch."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:17 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Norwegians say "okey dokey" which is a phrase they all learn in American English class.

But... shouldn't they? Isn't that just a sign of a thorough and accurate grounding in American English?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:42 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I believe the Helt Texas thing has its roots in the Morgan Kane series of western pulp fiction written by the decidedly less Texas-sounding Kjell Hallbing. This series of books has forever cemented the association between the Wild West and Texas.

The entire Norwegian baby boomer generation was raised on these novels (and comic books like Sølvpilen).

Now that's Texas.

Norwegians love them some Tex-Mex; you barely ever see any Mexian-style tacos there; it's Santa Maria Tacos all the way down.
posted by flippant at 6:12 PM on October 22, 2015


So, this is like saying "that's so ghetto?"
posted by Ideefixe at 6:16 PM on October 22, 2015


American parties are a thing.

So, my current roommate, who's only been here a few weeks now, is Belgian. And when I saw that link just now, after reading it I got up and poked my head into her room. "Can I ask you something?"

"....yes?"

"And you may think I'll be offended if your answer is yes, but I promise I'll actually be amused."

"Okay?"

"Okay - I just read an article that claims that 'America parties' are a thing. So...."

She was already blushing a little bit. "Yes. We have them."

She hasn't been to one (more's the pity), but said that red solo cups abound, along with marshmallows on sticks, burgers, and -at least in Belgium -curly fries. She also said that when she first got to the Airbnb she stayed in for the couple weeks before she ended up here, the first thing she saw when she walked in was a two-foot stack of red solo cups and she thought, "well, I sure am in America."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:21 PM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


tocts: "I like that the Texans want to believe that its continued use is due to historical wildness and cowboys, and not anything about the current behavior of Texans."

widdershins: " However, after decades of sometimes aggressive US foreign policy, the meaning has started to shift into that direction..."

Okay, wait, Norwegians, help me out. Is it that Norwegians are looking at local US politics and noticing which crazy stuff is happening in which states, and therefore the word "texas" is shifting to "bad-crazy" because of what Texas is doing, or is that Norwegians are looking at US politics as a whole and using "texas" as proxy for the US overall, and therefore the word "texas" is shifting to "bad-crazy" because of what the US as a whole is doing?
posted by Bugbread at 7:12 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


red solo cups abound, along with marshmallows on sticks, burgers, and -at least in Belgium -curly fries.

I dunno. I should think that fried chicken needs to be at any real "American party." Tho maybe that's finally become too ubiquitous to be merely American. Either way, I object to this flagrant appropriation of my culture!
posted by octobersurprise at 7:22 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


She just came in to add that people at American parties also do "American" imitations when they talk.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:43 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


"But... shouldn't they? "

When you, as an American, would say, "Yeah!" or "Sure!" or "Okay!" or "Whatever!" or "Why not?" or "I guess so!" Norwegians all say, "Okey dokey!"

Truly it is disturbing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:44 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hershey's does get some of its... distinctive flavor from butyric acid. But so does Parmesan cheese, which I find equally distinctive.
posted by Jpfed at 8:46 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


But lately I have noticed the phrase taking on an ironic quality online. Whenever the news posts a story about some monumental act of idiocy or some genuinely insane public act, people will cheerfully respond "We don't coast!"

So now I love the phrase, and Norway is welcome to it if they like.


Wouldn't work. You do know Norway's primary claim to fame is its award-winning fjords?
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:50 PM on October 22, 2015


@Eyebrows McGree:

None of my cohort ever said "Okey dokey".

That said, I live abroad now, so I haven't got my finger on the okely dokely pulse these days.
posted by flippant at 10:01 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I studied abroad in London, our top-25 American college recommended we all stitch Canadian flags to our JanSport backpacks and LIE and tell people we were Canadian, to avoid violence. TRUE STORY.

That would have been around 2003 then?
posted by acb at 2:38 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


...or is that Norwegians are looking at US politics as a whole and using "texas" as proxy for the US overall, and therefore the word "texas" is shifting to "bad-crazy" because of what the US as a whole is doing?

Well, I'd think that eight years of a fake-Texan President and his cowboy diplomacy certainly had an effect.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:40 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


You don't want to know what Queensland really means to New Zealanders.
posted by h00py at 6:32 AM on October 23, 2015


Kirth Gerson: "Well, I'd think that eight years of a fake-Texan President and his cowboy diplomacy certainly had an effect."

Yes, if the average Norwegian was aware that Bush claimed to be from Texas. That's why I'm asking if we have any Norwegians in the house who can shed more light on it.
posted by Bugbread at 6:49 AM on October 23, 2015


eight years of a fake-Texan President and his cowboy diplomacy certainly had an effect

Naw, the notion -- both inside and outside the US -- that Texas is the unique repository of America's cowboy machismo predates the bush administration by generations. Twentieth century popular culture is replete with songs, stories, movies, etc. broadcasting this meme.

Even with an eponymous musical, there aren't all that many songs about Oklahoma, but we have "Deepinaharta Texas", "Yellarosa Texas", "Streets of Laredo", "El Paso", and of course Shel Silverstein's Goin' Down t'Texas 'n be One More Horse's Ass.

Before the film Urban Cowboy came out, if you met some guy walking around under a "cowboy hat", you'd prolly say "Howdy, Tex"*, or something like that. Probably not "Howdy, Okie", or Kansas, or Wyoming, or some other state that arguably might've had more actual cowboys**.

I'm from Cincinnati, yet even in the 1970s, Europeans always wanted to talk to me about two things: Cowboys and Indians***. It broke their hearts to tell 'em that I could take a long long walk from home and never run into either.

------------------
*Although the one time I did this, it was trouble. The guy was the wrangler on a film set and he turned out to be from Oklahoma. Oops.
** Yes, as a matter of fact, I am familiar with Zappa's "Montana" and that other song and that one.
***I think they wanted to talk about Vietnam and Watergate, but usually didn't. Wounded Knee seemed a bigger deal than My Lai.

posted by Herodios at 7:59 AM on October 23, 2015


Omaha once had the largest packing plant in America. When I first moved here, you would occasionally still see actual cattle drives, and there are still people all over south Omaha (now mostly Mexican or Mexican-American) who dress in cowboy clothes.

But does Omaha ever register as a western town? No, it does not.
posted by maxsparber at 8:01 AM on October 23, 2015


But does Omaha ever register as a western town? No, it does not.

There's a place called Omaha, Nebraska,
In the foothills of Tennessee.
My sweetie told me that
Someday she'll meet me at
The corner of Delancey Street and Avenue "B."
From the shores of California to the rockbound coast of Maine,
We'll settle down in Washington, D.C.
In the Heart of Omaha, Nebraska,
Where the best things in life are free -
In the foothills of Tennessee.

When the snow falls in Montana and it's raining in Peru,
I'll love you like the honey loves the bee,
In the Heart of Omaha, Nebraska,
Where the best things in life are free -
In the foothills of Tennessee.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:21 AM on October 23, 2015


I don't suppose it's much of a coincidence that the TV show Dallas, with all of its larger-than-life characters and crazy situations, was a major American cultural export for decades, and was the primary lens through which many people grew up seeing the U.S.?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:24 AM on October 23, 2015


I don't remember -- is it ever established where Lucky Luke lives?
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:04 AM on October 23, 2015


There's a place called Omaha, Nebraska,
In the foothills of Tennessee.


I love Groucho's song, but, for me, the greatest Omaha story is from the pages of Harpers:

Hast thou ever been in Omaha,
Where rolls the dark Missouri down,
And four strong horses scarce can draw
An empty wagon through the town?

Where sand is blown from every mound
To fill your eyes and ears and throat-
Where all the steamers are aground
And all the shanties are afloat?

Where whiskey shops the livelong night
Are vending out their poison juice:
Where men are often very tight,
And women deemed a trifle loose?

Where taverns have an anxious quest
For every corner, shelf, and crack;
With have the people going west
And all the others coming back?

Where theaters are all the run,
And bloody scalpers come to trade;
Where everything is overdone
And everybody underpaid?

If not, take heed to what I say!
You’ll find it just as I have found it;
And if it lies upon your way
For God’s sake, reader, go around it.
posted by maxsparber at 10:07 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't suppose it's much of a coincidence that the TV show Dallas, with all of its larger-than-life characters and crazy situations, was a major American cultural export for decades, and was the primary lens through which many people grew up seeing the U.S.?

I think Falcon Crest was bigger in Spain, but we got Dallas and Dynasty in the 70s-80s when there were only two TV channels in the country. And, of course, spaghetti westerns and western novels written by locals were everywhere. This particular guy wrote over two thousand of them, this blog post has a small cover gallery. The titles are predictably spaghetti-like: "What are you waiting for? A rope" "Born to be a gunman" "'Lead' Clinton" "Don't let the corpse get cold" "Federal and womanizer"...

I don't remember -- is it ever established where Lucky Luke lives?

All over the map as I remember, just as Lt Blueberry, but some comics had more of a definite place I think. I remember the one about wire fences.
posted by sukeban at 4:15 AM on October 24, 2015


@Bugbread:

As for what I believe to be the origin of the Texas association, read my comment upthread.

I'd wager the vast majority of Norwegians know a fair bit about the coastal regions, less so about other parts of the country (Florida, Texas, Nevada, and Alaska seem to be higher on the radar though).

Western culture is very lopsided in that sense: since so much of Western cultural production comes out of the USA, those of us watching from afar are privy to a level of detailed (though superficial) knowledge you as an American couldn't hope to gain about other countries – through osmosis, that is, being as you are consuming from the same pot of cultural production.

Seeing as how you're working as a translator in Tokyo, you'd have a keen understanding of this imbalance, though I'm sure you'd find Western Europeans to be much less foreign to you than the Japanese.
posted by flippant at 4:22 AM on October 24, 2015


flippant: "As for what I believe to be the origin of the Texas association, read my comment upthread."

No, I get that completely. But a few people are saying that long after the establishment of the Texas image and the word "texas" in Norway, recent Texas politics and Texas politicians have either reinforced or modified the Texas image in Norway. I can see how that could be true, but it's just Americans hypothesizing. I was wondering if any Norwegians could shed some light on whether those hypotheses are correct or not.
posted by Bugbread at 4:43 AM on October 24, 2015


I'm not Norwegian, but I know plenty, and I think it's fair to say that only few Europeans really notice Texas politicians and policies as something distinct from other American politicians and policies which are all crazy from a Scandinavian point of view. Texas is a mythical country with cowboys and oil. And Dallas, as mentioned above.
posted by mumimor at 10:32 AM on October 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Texas is a mythical country with cowboys and oil. And Dallas, as mentioned above

Like Norway, California feels this way about Texas. Our crazy is… different.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:53 PM on October 24, 2015


Our crazy is… different.

I got as far as "Miley Cyrus packed up her hillbilly skank trunk" before I clicked off. BBC Four, what hast thou wrought?
posted by psoas at 8:37 AM on October 26, 2015


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