Norwegian Language Blog

Get Moving in Norwegian Posted by on Sep 30, 2019 in Uncategorized

(Image by outfish from Pixabay, no copyright.)

Høsten er på vei! (Autumn is on its way!) Before you reach for your pledd (blankets) and fjernkontroll (remote), here’s a reminder to keep moving…

Vi kan bevege oss på mange ulike måter. (We can move in many different ways.) Legs and feet make it possible å gå, å løpe, å hoppe, å sparke (to walk, to run, to jump, to kick). Some special varieties include:

De vandret i dagevis (They walked for days)
Katten springer [sprang – har sprunget] ut av vinduet (The cat jumps [jumped – has jumped] out the window)
Jentene hinket i friminuttet (The girls were hopping on one foot in the school break)
Jeg snublet på vei inn i rommet (I stumbled on my way into the room)
Vi lister oss så stilt på tå når vi skal ut og røve (”We’re tiptoeing so quietly when we’re about to rob” – the robbers’ song from the Norwegian children’s classic Folk og røvere i Kardemomme by, ”People and Robbers in Kardemomme Town”, by Thorbjørn Egner)

Arms and hands further enable us å gripe, å løfte, å bære, å klatre, å svømme, å gi noen en klem (to catch, to lift, to carry, to climb, to swim, to give somebody a hug):
Kongefamilien vinker fra balkongen. (The royal family is waving from the balcony.)
Hun veivet med armene. (She was waving her arms.)
De knipset til musikken. (They were snapping their fingers to the music.)
Vi klapper i hendene! (We’re clapping our hands! – a line from the song O jul med din glede, ”Oh Christmas with Your Joy”)

Of course there are countless other ways to move, but for bevegelser (movements) excluding our legs/feet and arms/hands, the vocabulary is more limited. We may trekke på skuldrene (shrug our shoulders), nikke (nod), riste på hodet (shake our head), rynke pannen (knit our brows), puste inn og ut (breathe in and out), skyte rygg som en katt (arch our backs like a cat), vrikke med hoftene (wiggle our hips). If you can’t plystre (whistle) or vifte med ørene (wiggle your ears), you can always gjespe (yawn) or geipe [yipeh] (stick out your tongue).

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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. John C Best:

    interesting phrases not usually included in language learning courses but without hearing the words spoken I find difficult to remember