Looking for an answer about toothpicks!

Jul 20, 2006
I was wondering if anyone {knife guru's of the world} could tell me how the Texas Toothpick style knife acquired it's name?
FYI - a "Texas Toothpick" is a racoon's penis, what your asking about I'm guessing is an Arkansas toothpick......

Actually, the Arkansas Toothpick is a large fixed blade, usually 12" or more, with a narrow double edged dagger-like blade, and generally having a crossguard hilt.
The Texas Toothpick is a large European style clasp-type folder similiar to the Spanish navaja, usually 4 1/2-5 inches but sometimes smaller, also known by a lot of other names including rib-tickler, fish knife, pickaninny, chaser, tango, dance, and Dixie switch depending on what part of the country you are in.
As for the origins of name, everything is bigger in Texas or so I hear.
Just to add some confusion to the term Texas Toothpick, check out the etch on the bottom knife in this advertisement from 1887 (courtesy of lambertiana)!! It may take a while to download, as it's a big file. At some time in history, Texas Toothpick may have meant a big knife in general, as opposed to a specific handle pattern. Will we ever know for sure??:confused: