What Are Some Common Norwegian Sayings?


Quick Answer

Some common Norwegian sayings include "shared joy is double joy," "a little thing can ruin a whole thing" and "all weather is passing." Others include "a sip at a time empties the cask," "better bend than bump" and "honor the old, teach the young." These quotations reference historical and traditional Norwegian life, starting as far back as the Viking age. Norwegian proverbs generally speak to daily life and give advice on how to live well.

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Full Answer

Many Norwegian proverbs and sayings were collected by Ivar Aasen (1813-1896). These traditional sayings have no known authors but are rather traditional phrases collected from the Norwegian language by historians and translated by scholars such as Olive Bray and Henry Adams Bellows. The specific meaning of many has been lost. Some Norwegian historians have analyzed the sayings based on the history of Norway.

There are also more modern, everyday phrases used by Norwegian speakers. In Norway, it is common to say "I hope that it tastes" when serving food. Another Norwegian saying is "to be in the middles of butter's eye," which is another way of saying that someone is in the best possible spot. Some Norwegians say "you've got a telephone" when someone has a phone call. Online or print Norwegian-English dictionaries include common phrases for everyday usage.

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