How Texas Declines


After living in Texas for nearly a decade I am preparing to move across country to Massachusetts.  I have been playing with the idea of writing a post about the move entitled: Nihil (nimium) contra [Texas], but, of course, I lost that thread once I realized I needed to put Texas in Latin. Fortunately, this has been contemplated before and answered by the Latin Wikipedia:

Nom. Texia

Gen.  Texiae

Dat. Texiae

Acc. Texiam

Abl. Texiā

Texas, by the way, doesn’t have a Latin motto. After living here for nine years, I just learned that its motto is “Friendship”. (Really?) Would Amicitia be too hard? My new state has a Latin motto which I think might be a better fit for Texas: Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (trans. As “By the sword we seek peace but only under liberty”; but to me, this doesn’t mean what they want it to mean).

Here’s a list of state mottos.


I am of three minds here. We could just follow the Latin pattern and make Texas an a-stem 1st declension. That seems too easy to me. We could also make it an –as masculine 2nd declension (because, you know, Texas is so masculine). My favorite is to get a bit fancy with a 3rd declension i-stem. Read the i-stem aloud, it just feels better to me.

1st Declension

Nom. Τέξια

Gen.  Τέξιας

Dat. Τέξιᾳ

Acc. Τέξιαν

Voc. Τεξία

2nd Declension

Cf.Λεωνίδας (Λεωνίδεω or Λεωνίδου; νεανίας, νεανίου)

Nom. Τέξας

Gen.  Τέχου

Dat.  Τέξῳ

Acc. Τέξαν

Voc. Τέξα

3rd Declension

Cf. λέξις

Nom. Τέξις

Gen.  Τέξεως

Dat. Τέξει

Acc. Τέξιν

Voc. Τέξι

Votes? Thoughts? Did I mess up some accents?

Another option is a third-declension dental-stem:

7 thoughts on “How Texas Declines

  1. Joel,

    I grew up in neighborng New Mexico. Rather than Texas, shouldn’t you start with Tejas?


    1. Indeed! Joel and I talked this over earlier, and I suggested that (without declension) you could use a particle with a relative pronoun to produce τε ἃς with no declension! Something close to this actual conjunction of sounds can be observed in Plato’s Theaetetus 146c:
      γεωμετρία τε καὶ ἃς νυνδὴ σὺ διῆλθες,

      Sed hae sunt nugae!

  2. Wikipedia informs me that the full Latin sentence from which the motto of Massachusetts is taken is “manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem” (“this hand, an enemy to tyrants, seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty”).

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