Icelandic Language Blog

Icelandic Slang 101 Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in Icelandic culture

I’ve been writing a lot these past few months about grammar – which doesn’t necessarily give cultural context to Icelandic as a living language. So today my Icelandic friend, Ingimar, has volunteered to help me to introduce you to a few Icelandic slang expressions, which he condensed into a nice short story for you.

Here are a few of his favorites, and the ones we used in his monologue:

Börri (M) – burger
Öllari (M) – a beer
Drull – e-m að vera drull – to not give a damn
Pappakassi (M) –
idiot (literally, a cardboard box)
Að rífa sig – to shoot off your mouth, run your mouth
Fössari (M) – Friday (hence fös-)
Fáviti (M) – moron (there is also a hálfviti – half wit – this one is a “few-wit”)
Gaur (M)– dude
Hellaður – wasted, drunk
Klukkari (M)– an hour
Forritið (N)- twitter (The Program – ominous, eh?)
Þáverandi – my then-partner (fyrrverandi is “former”)
Nölli  (M)- nerd
Spaði (M) – player
Trefill (M) – hipster (Because of hipster scarves)
Prófljóta  – that lean and hungry look that one gets in the middle of finals.(Literally, “test-ugly)
Basically – basically/totally/pretty much

Here’s his genius composition:

Ég var í börra og öllara með þáverandi á fössara ekkert í gangi á forritinu, búnað [búin að] vera í svona klukkara, hún var í miðri prófljótu en ég er ekki pappakassi svo mér var drull. Þá kemur einhver fáviti og fér að rífa sig, kalla mig nölla og trefil og spila sig algjöran spaða. Ég var bara eitthvað, hvað er árið 2008, við erum hipsterar í dag. Klukkan að ganga sjö og gaurinn basically hellaður.

And his compelling reading of it:

Ingó Slang


English Version

I was having a burger and beer with my then-girlfriend on Friday night, nothing happening on Twitter, been there about an hour, it was finals week and she looked like shit but I’m not an jackass so I didn’t give a damn. Then some moron came up and started to run his mouth, called me a nerd and a hipster* and made out like he was the man. I was just like, what year is it 2008, we’re called hipsters now. It was like 7:00 and this dude was totally shitfaced.

Happy Friday! 



Keep learning Icelandic with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Meg

Hi, I'm Meg! I'm here to help you learn Icelandic, the language more than anything else in the world. I'm a former Fulbright scholar, with an MFA from Columbia, and I've published many translations into English from Icelandic and German. I currently study Icelandic, and translate poetry by trade. (If you have questions or comments on my entries, you can write them to me in the comments in either English, German, or Icelandic.)