SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

NORWEGIAN WORD OF THE DAY

Norwegian expression of the day: Helt Texas

What do you associate with the state of Texas? For Norwegians, the state's wild west reputation became the origin of a term used to describe the modern-day's craziness.

Norwegian expression of the day: Helt Texas
Texas is a by-word for crazy in Norway. Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know this?

The sudden mention of a state in North America may throw you off when conversing in Norwegian. The expression may be old, but it’s still used in the media and private discussions today. If you want to lasso helt Texas into your vocabulary, it’s essential to use it in the proper context. 

What does it mean?

Directly translated, helt Texas means “all of Texas” or “totally Texas”. The expression is decades old and originates from the reputation Texas has in Scandinavian countries. Texas equates to cowboys and the wild west. The shoot ’em up western films and a less regulated and governed society.

You can use helt Texas to describe a crazy situation or a wild act someone has done. Doing a belly flop from the high dive? Helt Texas! Last night’s crazy storm that washed away your patio furniture? Helt Texas. 

Helt Texas is not typically used to describe a person. But more of a chaotic event or atmosphere. 

Wondering if the term is dictionary official? Not quite. Daniel Gusfre Ims, section manager in the section for language use and language advice in the Language Council, said to public broadcaster NRK that the term has roots far back in time. “Using “texas” as a word for wild conditions is something we have done for a long time. The word is not found in Bokmålsordboka or Nynorskordboka, but in Norsk Ordbok over Nynorsk og dialekter the word is included,” he says.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

NORWEGIAN WORD OF THE DAY

Norwegian word of the day: Yr 

Given how often the weather changes in Norway, this is a useful one to know.

Norwegian word of the day: Yr 

What does it mean? 

Yr is the word used to describe a light drizzle in Norway. Yr is also the name of the country’s most popular weather app, which is run by public broadcaster NRK and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. 

Drizzle is precipitation with a drop size of less than 0.5 mm and is a transition between rain and clouds. Given you’ll unlikely to be measuring rain drops as they fall, you’ll typically be able to tell drizzle from feel. 

Most Norwegians are undeterred by the presence of drizzle unless they are expecting heavier rain to follow. 

The reason for this is that I am sure you will have had a Norwegian tell you at some point now when you’ve complained about being cold or wet- det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær (there is no such thing as poor weather, just inappropriate clothes”). 

However, yr shouldn’t be disregarded every time you come across it or if it’s on the forecast, especially up in the mountains, as a little bit of drizzle can soon become a rain shower. 

Use it like this: 

Det er meldt yr i morgen tidlig, kanskje vi bør utsette teltturen vår?

(It’s meant to be drizzling tomorrow morning, maybe we should postpone our camping trip?)

SHOW COMMENTS