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Fun and special words in Norwegian Posted by on Aug 27, 2016 in Humor, Vocabulary

Sometimes learning Norwegian vocabulary can be really fun – you discover items that make you giggle or shake your head in disbelief: How could anyone even think of an expression like that? Below are some words that I myself find really great. What are your favourites? Please drop a line in the comments section. 🙂

(Image courtesy of Steven Depolo at Flickr, CC License.)

(Image courtesy of Steven Depolo at Flickr, CC License.)

A krøllalfa is the @ sign. It literally means ”curly alpha”!

If you’re an attpåklatt [AHTT-paw-klahtt] (more or less ”add-on blob”) you’re many years younger than your siblings. It might not be the most charming description, but the sound is great. 🙂 An attpåklatt might cause ammetåke (breast-feeding fog), which is a kind of confusion that some mothers feel the first weeks after giving birth.

Speaking of families, what do you call your parents’ cousins kids? Norwegian’s got a word for that: tremenning. Okay, let’s sum up: People with the same parents = siblings. People with the same grandparents = cousins. People with the same great grandparents = tremenninger. Neat, huh? Now I’m sure you understand what it means when a døl (person from a dal, valley) introduces you to her firmenning

If you’re really raus (generous), you probably don’t mind offering somebody else brorparten (”the brother part” = the biggest portion, the lion’s share) of your fårikål (sheep-in-cabbage, a dish), before you light up your engangsgrill (one-time grill) and raise your utepils (beer drunk outside when the weather is nice) or rusbrus (”intoxication lemonade”, an alcohol ic drink that tastes like a soft drink) for a loud skål (cheers!)

Lærertyggis literally means ”teacher’s chewing gum”, but it’s the kind of clay that you can use to glue your posters to a hard wall – or maybe to fasten your minnepinne (memory stick) somewhere before you forget it…

Okay, this last one is cheap. But please tell me: Which other language has a funnier word for ”whoopie cushion”: prompepute.

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.


  1. Mona:

    Great for an old dog to learn some newer computer-related words. My favorite is ‘minnepinne’. Fun to say.