5 Unique and Untranslatable Norwegian Words

1. Takk for sist

Norwegians are not known as the kindest people of the world, however they do say “takk” (thank you) for many things: “Takk for meg/mat/nå” …  But none of them is as hard as 

“Takk for sist” for translating into English. It literally means thanks for the last time and you use it when you see someone you have not seen for a while. 

2. Koselig

As Norwegian blogger KENNETH HAUG put it in the right way: koselig can be translated as “nice” or “cozy,” but those only describe parts of what is “kos” or “koselig.” Kos means enjoying time with your friend or some free time on your own. This enjoyment for Norwegian can be as simple as being at a mountain cabin, on a beach in one of southern countries, at a coffee with friends or while reading crime novels in Easter. “Even working or training hard can be koselig, if you’re doing it with people you like”.

3. Fæn

Norwegians are not very creative in terms of profanity but this word is a joker word which you can literally use for every curse word in other languages. Faen is derived from the word “Fanden” directly meaning Devil or The Devil. The word is much more used as a form of expression toward self failiure, than insulting a person. 

Faen is emotionaly equivelant tho the english word F… when used alone. There are many expressions made with fæn but “Fy fæn” is one of the most common ones, which  expresses surprise or disappointment.

4. Utepils

Literally it means out beer. It is a very special expression for Norwegian who long for sunny days, then as soon as they see a bit of sun, they invite you for utepils.

Actually, utepils simply means any beer enjoyed outside. The word is made up of two words, ute (‘outside’) and pils, which is simply short for Pilsner, a type of local beer most commonly consumed in Norway. Pils is also itself an interesting word, which means ‘to drink beer’. S

5. Pålegg

This unique word is almost the summary of Norwegian eating habit. In everyday language it mostly is used to describe edibles on top of open-faced sandwiches. Everyday meaning of pålegg is much more than this description. It is an indispensible part of Norwegian matpakke (packed lunch) at schools, work place, nature tours, skiing and every possible social arenas. 

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