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183 Norwegian Proverbs, Quotes and Phrases (2023)

1. “Out on a trip, never sulky.”

2. “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”

3. Å være på pletten

4. Å være midt i smørøyet

5. Å tenke koffert

6. “The best remedy against getting drunk is keeping sober.”

7. Å leve på luft og kjærlighet

8. “In Norway, everyone knows everyone, and everyone is very supportive of each other. If there is anyone new, or a new song is coming out, everyone will probably know about it.” – Astrid S

9. Forstår du? Do you understand?

10. Velkommen! Welcome!

11. Hyggelig å treffe deg! Pleased to meet you!

12. “For many years, it seemed as if nothing changed in Norway. You could leave the country for three months, travel the world, through coups d’etat, assassinations, famines, massacres and tsunamis, and come home to find that the only new thing in the newspapers was the crossword puzzle.” – Jo Nesbo

13. “I got an email from the Crown Prince of Norway asking me to talk at a summit for young Norwegian entrepreneurs. I ran to my wife and was like, ‘Hey! I got an email from the Prince of Norway!'” – Nick Woodman

14. “Football is the biggest sport in Norway for girls and has been for years, but at the same time, girls don’t have the same opportunities as the boys.” – Ada Hegerberg

15. “Det holder det sa Gundersen…..”!!!!!!!

16. “I had to inspect all fighter units in Russia, Africa, Sicily, France, and Norway. I had to be everywhere.” – Adolf Galland

17. “Adrijana speaks Norwegian with an upper-class, west-end accent.”

18. Hei / Ha det Hi / Bye

19. “I think Wimbledon is the highlight for most players, it’s special. My father played there six times and never got past the first round so we have to end this bad streak, for the family and Norway.” – Casper Ruud

20. “Old habit, hard to turn.”

21. Is i magen

22. “Norway was occupied by the Germans in the Second World War, and I’ve met a lot of people who had to live through that occupation in varying degrees.” – Christopher Heyerdahl

23. Kjøpe katta i sekken

24. “The prison system in Norway is fairly civilized, by world standards, and so are the prisoners and the guards.” – Varg Vikernes

25. “Norway is combating climate change. It’s an important issue for us. And we are committed to the Paris Agreement.” – Erna Solberg

26. “My mother-in-law’s from Norway, and she’s always liked old-school remedies.” – Lindsey Vonn

27. “As foreign minister of Norway, I learnt how natural changes provoked by climate change are creating new sources of political instability.” – Jonas Gahr Store

28. Å røyke fredspipe

29. “The more cooks, the more mess.”

30. Å tråkke i salaten

31. “I’m drinking coffee at a coffee shop. I’m smoking a cigarette outside, like everyone else.” “Like movies?” “What do you mean, do I like movies?”

32. Å være på bærtur / på viddene / ute og sykle

33. Jeg tror [ikke] det I [don't] think so

34. Å få blod på tannen

35. “He expresses himself not in a torrent of words and ideas and disruptions, revelations and setbacks, but through an ever-expanding capacity to face what comes next.”

36. “I grew up in a small mountain town in Norway, and I remember miming to the Beatles on the couch when I was about six, singing into a broomstick, but this was a country that only had one radio station. There was no music around, really.” – Morten Harket

37. Å være i vinden

38. Å grave ned stridsøksen

39. “Generally speaking, I don’t think people know a great deal about the Viking culture, apart from the label that is usually attached to them, either pillagers or deviants who came and brought back loot to Norway. It was an incredibly sophisticated, complex and layered culture. They had their own laws, many of which protected women.” – Gabriel Byrne

40. Å ha bein i nesa

41. “It wasn’t the best move to move here as far as snooker’s concerned. But everything else, living in Norway is beautiful, my wife, my son, you can’t change those things, it’s one against 10 positive things.” – Kurt Maflin

42. “Norway. A gift to the wandering tribes who pressed ever northward into the sea-split orchestral tumult of salty shores and cragged earth sheltering the gods that time forgot. Wine spilling like children through empty halls echoing waiting, neverly for distant guests, the fire and song rising, still and bright into the ever darkening sky. A proclamation to the eternal night. A chorus of candles and spice. We . . . they say. Children of the norlands, with fathers buried in this earth’s cradle. All memory conspiring to a single story— This . . . they say. This is our land.”

43. “Don’t get old,” he says to Paul. “If Peter Pan shows up, just go.”

44. “I grew up riding when I was younger in Texas. I actually learned how to ride in Norway. I really love riding horses.” – Jackson Rathbone

45. “It is all clearer now than it was then. Rhea would say it is the vivid fabrication of an aging mind. More likely, though, it is the clarity that comes from aging—from the natural process of releasing the mind from imagined futures, and allowing the present and the past to take their rightful place at the center of our attention. The past is palpable to Sheldon now, in the way the future is to the young. It is either a brief curse or a gift before oblivion.”

46. “I was born in Norway, and when I was little I went to live in Detroit, Michigan. My father was a professor of philosophy at Wayne University, and my mother was also a teacher.” – Marta Kristen

47. “Don’t sell the hide until you’ve shot the bear.”

48. Bite i gresset

49. “it is all clearer now than it was then. Rhea would say it is the vivid fabrications of an ageing mind. More likely, though, it is the clarity that comes from ageing - from the natural process of releasing the mind from imagined futures, and allow the present and paste to take their rightful place at the centre of our attention. The past is palpable to Sheldon now, in the way the future is to the young. It is either a brief curse or a gift before oblivion.”

50. Hvor langt er det? How far is it?

51. “If you go to Norway, Finland, Russia or Australia, you’ll see Xerox or Fuji-Xerox people, not just the name on the door. We have human beings who live and work and serve customers everywhere around the globe.” – Ursula Burns

52. “. The liberals expounded limitless tolerance, the conservatives were racist or xenophobic, and everyone debated from philosophical positions but never from ones grounded in evidence, and so no sober consideration was being given to the very real question now haunting all of Western civilization—namely, How tolerant should we be of intolerance?”

53. “My father’s grandparents came from Norway and settled in the Scandinavian bastion of Minnesota. As a little girl in Tempe, Arizona, I daydreamed about picking cloudberries by a fjord in a fresh Nordic wind.” – Kate Christensen

54. “clarity that comes from aging—from the natural process of releasing the mind from imagined futures, and allowing the present and the past to take their rightful place at the center of our attention. The”

55. Å gjøre kål på

56. “Norway, for some reason, I find Norway really fascinating, you really feel nature in that country. And then there is somewhere like Japan, which is the most interesting culturally because their whole psychology, how they think is so different to us and how I’ve grown up.” – Katie Melua

57. Flyte på flesket

58. En glad laks

59. “I’ve sung before, first in a band in high school and then in a band in Norway, but never in a musical.” – Essie Davis

60. “Straight ahead is shortest, but not always easiest.”

61. “I’m 100% Norwegian. Three generations removed and all continuous inbreeding of Norwegian of Minnesota and Iowa, so I traveled to Norway before.” – Eric Christian Olsen

62. Saken er biff

63. Det er hipp som happ for meg

64. Man skal ikke skue hunden på hårene

65. “Most things are both true and absurd.”

66. “Either conform to the customs or flee the country.”

67. “He that makes himself a sheep shall be eaten by the wolf.”

68. “I don’t think I would participate in ‘Eurovision,’ but I would love to write a song for it. But it would have to be for Norway, obviously. Do it for my country.” – Sigrid

69. “There's also a possibility that the landlord is in there right now, wearing women's undergarments. Or a drug addict is inside stealing jewelry.Or a boatload of recent Chinese immigrants without a television watching Russia play Finland in hockey and placing bets over beer.

70. Snakke i munnen på hverandre

71. Hvordan går det? How it's going?

72. Å være pling i bollen

73. “At his age, it can be overwhelming and painful to harbor a thought accompanied by too much nostalgia. Not that he wanted to. Mabel, in her final years, had stopped listening to music. The songs of her teenage years brought her back to people and feelings of that time - people she could never see again and sensations that were no longer coming. It was too much for her. There are people who can manage such things. There are those of us who can no longer walk, but can close our eyes and remember a summer hike through a field, or the feeling of cool grass beneath our feet, and smile. Who still have the courage to embrace the past, and give it life and a voice in the present. But Mabel was not one of those people. Maybe she lacked that very form of courage. Or maybe her humanity was so complete, so expansive, that she would be crushed by her capacity to imagine the love that was gone.”

74. “Norway. A gift to the wandering tribes who pressed ever northward into the sea-split orchestral tumult of salty shores and cragged earth”

75. “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!”

76. Å snakke rett fra leveren

77. Tant og fjas

78. Å ha en finger med i spillet

79. “All this doesn’t invade you somehow? Disrupt everything? Hollow you?” Lars puts down the coffee”

80. Ta knekken på (meg)!

81. Lykke til! Good luck!

82. “I was born in Oslo, Norway, but now live in the suburbs of Southwest London, right near the River Thames. It’s a lovely part of the world.” – Alexander Hanson

83. “I really enjoy myself in Norway. Because I had started losing confidence in my ability of what I do. But sometimes, man, you just get tired of fighting and trying to prove yourself.” – Ike Turner

84. Jeg vil gjerne ha... / Jeg skulle gjerne hatt... I would like...

85. Jeg er sulten I'm hungry

86. “They’ll shoot me here, in the café?” “No,” says Petter. “They’ll shoot you there, in the chest.”

87. “What am I going to do there? I’m an American. I’m a Jew. I’m eighty-two. I’m a retired widower. A Marine. A watch repairman. It takes me an hour to pee. Is there a club there I’m unaware of?”

88. Håper at det smaker

89. Hva er i veien?

90. “A good anvil does not fear the hammer.”

91. Det er helt Texas!

92. “The myth about me as a footballer has grown: I am now the lost Maradona of Norway.” – Jo Nesbo

93. Har du røyka sokka dine?

94. Snakk langsomt Speak slowly

95. “Norway will be recognized as an open democracy with the rule of law, with the universal human rights, and with the broad international engagement on the international scene taking upon ourselves responsibilities, because we are a privileged country.” – Jonas Gahr Store

96. Holde tunga rett i munnen

97. “Ja, vi elsker dette landet” (Yes, we love this country) is the title of the  national anthem of Norway.

98. Å ta beina på nakken

99. Å gjøre noen en bjørnetjeneste

100. “Better to have one bird in the hand than ten on the roof.”

101. “I’m a bit biased, as I married a Norwegian, but Norway is an incredible country.” – Edd China

102. Hallo / God dag Hello / Good Day

103. Å stikke noe under en stol

104. “I’m from Norway, and when kids were reading comics, I was reading Icelandic and Norwegian sagas about the Vikings. The glorification of violence, their mentality, and their way of living – that was part of my own education growing up.” – Kristofer Hviju

105. Hvor er ... ? Where is ... ?

106. “Those of us with the courage to open ourselves to that much love and not fear it - who can give joy to a dying child until the very end without withdrawing to save ourselves - those are our saints. It is not the martyrs. It is never the martyrs.”

107. ”Alle holde for, at Paafundet er skadeligt; saa at den første Inventor af Krud kand heller ansees som en Fiende end som en Velgiører af det menneskelige Kiøn. Jeg selv er og af samme Tanker, skiønt jeg derhos maa sige, at, ligesom intet er saa ondt, at jo noget godt deraf f… (more)

108. Det er aldri så galt at det ikke er godt for noe!

109. Jeg er fra... I'm from...

110. Å skrive noe bak øret

111. Å svelge noen kameler

112. “It is summer and luminous.”

113. “The best friends are fewest.”

114. “Good fortune is loaned, not owned.”

115. Brillefint

116. God natt Good Night

117. “It is the law that judges, not the judge.”

118. “We have to find compromises. That’s the way it is in Norway.” – Kjell Magne Bondevik

119. Jeg er trett I'm tired

120. “Even a blind hen may occasionally pick up a grain.”

121. Straks! Immediately! / Soon!

122. “Iceland, though it lies so far to the north that it is partly within the Arctic Circle, is, like Norway, Scotland, and Ireland, affected by the Gulf Stream, so that considerable portions of it are quite habitable.” – Harry Johnston

123. Ryk og reis

124. “The future of Norway isn’t about competing on being the cheapest but the most innovative. We have an expensive welfare state, and the only answer to continue that way is to become more competitive, especially on knowledge.” – Erna Solberg

125. “Trynet” is your face - or rather your nose (a pig’s nose is called tryne). So when you fall on your tryne (nose), you have a stupid, hard and/or fatal fall - it happens when you’re very drunk or it’s icey on the ground (among others). In other words, when something is totally on “trynet”, it’s unbelieveably stupid, fucked up, idiotic, wrong. So as the others say - it’s not a proverb, but an expression :)

126. “No fish without bones.”

127. “Only the educated stop to look for words—having enough to occasionally misplace them.”

128. “Many people, especially in the U.S., see countries like Sweden or Norway or Finland as role models – we have such a clean energy sector, and so on. That may be true, but we are not role models.” – Greta Thunberg

129. “When we were kids, Stoke was massive in Norway.” – Morten Harket

130. “Behind the clouds, the sky is always blue.”

131. “Nationalism in Norway was very strong in 1905, that we must be free of Sweden. But I must say, I’m not 100 percent sure that was a wise decision. We had the war; we were occupied by Germans from 1940 to ’45. And if there had been one Scandinavian country, then it would not have been so very easy probably to go ahead with the occupation.” – Olav Thon

132. Ja / Nei Yes / No

133. “Stopp en hal” is actually norwenglish: Stop and haul!

134. Der er ugler i mosen

135. Å stå/sitter med skjegget i postkassa

136. “Norway is a small country, about half the size of Sweden, but it has a very good film climate because they have municipal cinemas, so even in the smallest towns you have a cinema that shows arthouse films from all over the world.” – Stellan Skarsgard

137. Det er helt hull i hodet

138. “Pling i bollen” (ding-dong in the bowl) is just another, more colorful way of saying that something is completely absurd, or that someone is stupid or crazy for a decision they have made, or an opinion they hold. We have a lot of these weird idioms. “Bollen” is a slang word for the head, but it is only used in this specific expression.

139. Jeg er ____ år (gammel). I am ____ years (old).

140. “Do you remember the question?” That provoked him. Sheldon turned to Lars, who was attentive. “Watch this.” “Number one. Getting people to repeat their own questions forces them to figure out what they’re asking. If you’re not willing to ask a question three times, then you don’t really want to know the answer. Number two, you have brought me to Norway. Nothing’s familiar. I can’t become lost in familiar places. I just become lost. Number three, I don’t speak Norwegian, so I can’t follow any directions. If I understood . . . that would be demented. Number four, I don’t know of any half-intelligent, self-aware person who, if they give it a moment’s thought, doesn’t find time, people, or places all highly disorienting. In fact, what is there to disorient us other than time, people, or places? And for the three-part finale, I say this. I have no idea what it means to be neglectful of personal safety. As measured against what? Under what conditions? As judged by whom? I’ve sailed into a storm of tracer bullets, face first, on the Yellow Sea at dawn. Was I neglectful? I married a woman and stayed with her until the end of her life. You call that safe? As for hygiene, I brush my teeth and shower daily. The only one who thinks I’m dirty is someone who thinks I don’t belong, and so is probably an anti-Semite, and you can tell him Sheldon Horowitz says so. And nutrition? I’m eighty-two and I’m alive. “How did I do, Lars?” “Better than I could have done, Sheldon.” Rhea remembers the story. But she says to Lars, in front of Sigrid, “He was lucid. He has powerful reasoning skills. He was showing off.” Lars shrugs. “It worked on me.” “OK, maybe it isn’t dementia per se. But he’s odd. Really odd. And he’s increasingly talking to the dead.” Even as she speaks, she accepts”

141. “The fair wind blows even if the sailor does not see it.”

142. “There’s a lot of crappy music that people like, you know, all over the world, and Norway is definitely not an exception.” – Sondre Lerche

143. “I got the travel bug when I was quite young. My parents took me and my sisters out of school and we travelled all over Europe. It was an eye-opening experience and, although I love Norway, I also enjoy visiting new countries. I don’t get homesick.” – Magnus Carlsen

144. “Feel the splendid isolation, the momentary step into timelessness.”

145. Pass på! Watch out!

146. “Norway or Switzerland are two marvellous countries, I very much admire, the most advanced countries in the world in fact with great qualities of life.” – Jose Manuel Barroso

147. Som plommen i egget

148. “God made the world, said it was good,” says Sheldon aloud. “Fine. But when did he reappraise?”

149. “med skjegget i postkassen” since this actually means that you will be dissappointed. 🙂

150. “If the world were an orange with 18 segments meeting at the top (the North Pole), roughly 8 of them would be in Russia, Canada would have 4, Denmark 2, and Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. just one apiece. Only a sliver of Alaska, on the Beaufort Sea, lies above the Arctic Circle.” – Alex Shoumatoff

151. Velbekomme! Have a good meal!

152. Å koke bort i kålen

153. “My dad, a geologist, was an expert in glaciers and permafrost, so we moved to a lot of cold places such as Canada, Iceland and Norway.” – Lucy Worsley

154. Ta plass Have a seat.

155. “We had to leave Norway and go where it was all happening, which was London. We loved it there, but it was hard. We had no money – we were literally starving. It started to get ugly.” – Morten Harket

156. “I’m from a small town called Alesund in Norway.” – Sigrid

157. “Only the educated stop to look for words - having enough to occasionally misplace them.”

158. “This country is what you make it. You understand that? It isn’t good and it isn’t bad. It’s just what you make it. That means you don’t make excuses for America’s bullshit. That’s what the Nazis and commies do. The Fatherland. The Motherland. America isn’t your parent. It’s your kid. And today I made America a place where you get your nose broken for telling a Jew he can’t play a round of golf. The only one allowed to tell me I can’t play golf is the ball.”

159. “When the cat is gone, the mice dance on the table.”

160. “The pardon may be more severe than the penalty.”

161. “Everyone gets killed in the shower. Don't you go to the movies? Psycho. Dead in shower. The MExican in No country for Old Men. Dead in shower. Michelle Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath. Almost dead in shower, or in the bath, anyway. But she did that thing with her toe and got out OD. Still the shower, though...Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. Dead in shower. John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. Very dead in shower. But never closets. I can't think of anyone shot in a closet. This is why I hide in closets.”

162. Det er helt på trynet!

163. “I am drawn to cold, desolate places rather than Hawaii. I actually love Hawaii too, but I tend to go to Iceland or Norway or Northern Japan – northern places for whatever reason. Which aren’t necessarily the best places to tour.” – Phil Elverum

164. Jeg har det på tungen

165. “Living on air and love” means living on a very tight budget.

166. Jeg savner deg. I miss you.

167. “there are two ways you can act: on faith or on evidence. And if it’s going to be faith, then liberals and conservatives alike have to be grouped in the same camp as people who govern from their heart and not their head. The only decision to be made about them is whether their views give you a warm feeling. And on the other side are those trying to make things better by facing things the way they are, and working from there.”

168. Jeg har en høne å plukke med noen

169. “Do not count a person’s years, until he has nothing else to count.”

170. Hjelp! Help!

171. “The main experience, I think, is that we have managed: people moving to Norway has made Norway richer, economically, but also our culture has become more rich in many ways.” – Jens Stoltenberg

172. “You know the Norwegian police? They're a bunch of pussies. They don't carry guns, just like the English. But they stay after things for years and years, nagging and nagging. They're like herpes. You think you're rid of them, and then, when you're a little stressed out, boom! In the end they catch all the killers. They exhaust their prey into submission.”

173. (Tusen) Takk Thank you (very much)

174. ” You might as well try to hold an eel by the tail.”

175. Vær så snill å gjenta / Vennligst gjenta Please repeat

176. Hvor bor du? Where do you live?

177. “I want to travel. Maybe I’ll end up living in Norway, making cakes.” – Eva Green

178. Stopp en halv

179. Snakker du norsk? Do you speak Norwegian?

180. “The light is off, and it is dark. He has one hand pressed against the cold tiles of the wall above the toilet, and with his other hand he is taking aim, such as it is. He’s waiting for his prostate to get out of the way so he can take a well-deserved leak and get back to bed where he belongs, so that if by chance his heart stops this very second, he won’t be found—holding his pecker, dead on the floor—by a bunch of twenty-year-old medics who will gawk at his circumcision and bad luck.”

181. “Without a future, the mind turned back in on itself. That’s not dementia. One might even say it’s the only rational response to the inevitable.”

182. “reasoned argumentation is a weapon worth unleashing on the feeble.”

183. Å være født bak en brunost

184. Hva heter du? What's your name?

There you go! A norwegian proverb has an english equivalent some of the time. But other times, a norwegian saying, and the norwegian language as a whole, may not always have an english translation.

This is a faux pas to assume the whole world can be translated. Make a mental note, take a sip of a glass of water and look deeply into the languages spoken by scandinavian countries.

I've listed here different proverbs about the first man, a happy salman, a dog need, wise men, good fish and really a norwegian phrase about so many things. Enjoy!

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