In Norway, when a party is out of control awesome and wild, that party is “Totally Texas”.

I kid you not.

When things get a bit chaotic and out of the normal bounds of control, that is “Totally Texas” too.

Helt Texas (“totally/completely Texas”) or Det var helt Texas! (“That was totally/completely Texas!”) is a Norwegian phrase that I learned about in the early spring of last year. I found it absolutely hilarious that a situation that was a bit out of control was “Completely Texas” (not as much fun, this translation, because “Completely Texas” isn’t alliterative like “Totally Texas”). My fiance had never considered that I was from Texas, and that they said this phrase, and that it was about Texas on some level. It’s just something they say.

I assume, and he and I have discussed, that the phrase comes from the days of the Wild West when Norwegian immigrants were moving to America — whether to Texas or not. The frontier was certainly a tad lawless, and wild. And, well, a great portion of it was contained in Texas. Texas had a reputation for being a place for gunslingers, opportunists, and outlaws. Nowadays, you’re more likely to find some hippy protesting legalized firearms than you are to find a proper cowboy, but the state is still very big, very open, and very naturally wild. I will tell you — I haven’t seen any snakes, mice, rats, coyotes, scorpions, or mountain lions here. Cacti certainly make themselves scarce. I did see a spider on my previous visit, but he seemed very domesticated and minded his own business (so Norwegian, oh my goodness), maintaining his web and leaving the rest of us alone.

BBC Magazine and The Washington Post both did articles about the idiom, and the BBC one was particularly cute, where the head of the advisory service at the Language Council of Norway seems to disagree with my assessment of how this phrase came into the language. I will toss in a kudos to the Post, though, because they capitalized “Texas” in their article title, which is only appropriate for the best state in the world. Check the articles out, and enjoy a little taste of Norway and Texas colliding: