Slang words are the way you know you’ve really learnt a language. Or the cheat’s guide to sounding like an expert before your time. Either way, Norway has not let us down in its own slang available and we were spoilt for choice in our search. We’ve whittled down from a huge selection and come up with a few of our own personal favourites to share with you.
Let’s start with people. A boy can be referred to as a larka and a girl a larki. Snuppe refers to a ‘chick’ or girl, Kis is equivalent to ‘dude’, and if you’re a tough guy then you might be called a tøffing. A man who likes to womanise is a rundbrenner, and if you use the phrase kjerring, be careful: positively, the use means ‘girl’ or ‘lady’ but negatively it can mean ‘shrew’ or ‘hag’. So choose wisely.
Moving on to some expression of emotions, if something is merely cool or great you would say it was kjekt, and if it is awesome, knallbra is the word for you. On the other hand, if something sucks, describe it as kjipt. If something is ‘crazy’ or ‘wild’ it might be tagged with the word texas.
And now on to drinking. Start off the evening with your drikkekammerat (drinking buddy) and golle or gosse (gloat) when they get their ølbriller (beer goggles) on before you. Pretty soon you’ll get that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from being in good company sharing the pleasures that you like with the people you like - koselig. In fact, you’ll possibly start saying glad i deg to your drinking partner (which is sort of like the way English people ‘love’ everyone when they are feeling affectionate). You know it’s a good party when you come across a stinn brakke - a full house. Perhaps if you’ve had a little too much to drink and are being a little silly, you might hear ‘skjerp deg’, which means you’re making an idiot of yourself and should smarten up. Sound advice.And here’s some more: on the way home you should probably stop for some fôr (grub) in preparation for the dagen derpå - the morning after, or hangover.
Let’s spin out a little story to end, written in our own kråketær (bad handwriting). We decided to go for a little lunch and settled on some open sandwiches. The cafe we found was really harry (cheesy, shabby or kitschy), but not in a lø (bad/ugly) way, it was really cute - and the range of pålegg (all the things you put ‘on’ an open sandwich) was amazing and en rosin i polsen (‘a raisin in the sausage’ - something of a nice surprise in the midst of something already pretty good). And despite one of our friends talking continuously about castles in the air, to which we responded ‘har durøykasokkadine?’ (have you been smoking your socks? - how to show disdain for someone’s pipe dream), we had a really fun evening.
We really could go on. There were so many fantastic examples to choose from. We strongly urge you to do some research of your own and see what you come up with. If you like what you see, can we suggest a course? Why not contact us and see what language courses we have available? You’re going to love Norwegian and feel inspired to visit Norway for yourself!