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Entry from December 28, 2006
“Big as hell and half of Texas”

"Big as all hell and half of Texas” is mighty big, indeed. The phrase “...and half of Texas” was used in a circus advertisement in 1900. “Hell and half of Georgia” was a popular term from about 1913. In 1935, “Big as hell and half of Texas” is cited in its full form.

A Tanya Tucker song in 1978, “Texas (When I Die),” contains the lyric “I’d ride through all of hell and half of Texas justto hear Willie Nelson sing a country song.”


Texas Monthly
Texas Sayings
by Anne Dingus
Big as all hell and half of Texas.

Texas Sayings about being Boastful & Big
Big as all hell and half of Texas

Texas Sayins
Big as all Hell and half of Texas. 

Tanya Tucker Lyrics
Texas (When I Die)
(...)
I’D RIDE THROUGH ALL OF HELL AND HALF OF TEXAS
JUST TO HEAR WILLIE NELSON SING A COUNTRY SONG
BEER JUST AIN’T AS COLD IN OLD MILWAUKEE
MY BODY’S HERE BUT MY SOUL’S IN SAN ANTONE

Wikipedia: TNT (Tanya Tucker album)
TNT (1978—ed.) is the ninth album by Tanya Tucker. Working with a new producer in Jerry Goldstein, Tucker drifts away from her earlier country style to do a much more rock-based effort. She covers well-known rock songs originally performed by such artists as Buddy Holly ("Not Fade Away"), Elvis Presley ("Heartbreak Hotel"), and Chuck Berry ("Brown Eyed Handsome Man"). Tucker also covers John Prine’s bluesy “Angel from Montgomery,” previously performed by Prine himself, and more notably, by Bonnie Raitt. However, the best song on the album may be the original “Texas (When I Die),” which had never been previously recorded. The album was Tucker’s second-highest ranked ever on the Billboard Country charts at #2, and even reached #54 in the Pop category. Released singles and their Billboard positions were: “Texas (When I Die)” at #5, “Not Fade Away” at #70, and “I’m the Singer, You’re the Song” at #18.

19 April 1900, Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. 4 ad:
FIRST APPEARANCE OF HART & LOFTUS’ COLOSSAL CIRCUS AT CINCINNATI TODAY.
(...)
A Great, Astounding, Paralyzing Melange of Wondrous, Marvelous, Magnificent Stars from
FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH
and Half of Texas.

16 February 1913, Washington Post, pg. M8:
Tom Jernigan, the guide, had boasted that he “could lead a body to every snake’s hole in all over hell and half of Georgia.”

13 June 1913, Daily Commonwealth (Fond du Lac, WI), pg. 7, col. 4:
In certain parts of the south, “all over hell and half of Georgia” signifies the limits of the known earth.

22 September 1935, Zanesville (Ohio) Times-Signal, section 1, pg. 4, col. 1:
Texas is going to have a centennial celebration next year.
(...)
“Big as Hell and half of Texas” is a term often used to describe big things and so next year you’ll have a chance to see for yourself just how big this is.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, December 28, 2006 • Permalink