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English words of Norwegian origin

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Some words from the Norwegian language have entered into common English usage. Many of the words relate to the climate and culture of Norway, or skiing. In total English language has about 600 loanwords from Scandinavian languages.

Not all of these words are definitely from Norwegian. They may be from other Scandinavian languages such as Danish or Swedish, or may come from Old Norse when it was a single language.

  • Aquavit (also akevitt, a kind of distilled spirit)
  • Brisling (small, herring-like, marine fish)
  • Fjord (a long indentation of a sea)
  • Floe (as in ice floe, a river ice slide)
  • Klister (a kind of ski wax, from the word for glue or paste; also common Scandinavian)
  • Kraken (giant octopus, or giant squid)
  • Krill (small shrimp-like animal)
  • Lefse (Norwegian potato flatbread similar to a tortilla)
  • Lemming (lemen, a rodent species)
  • Lutefisk (fish course made from dried fish and lut (lye).
  • Quisling (a traitor, from Vidkun Quisling)
  • Skare (a kind of ski wax, from the Norwegian word for snow crust)
  • Ski (equipment for skiing activities; originally a general word for a plank or chop of wood)
  • Skrei (From a word meaning "flock" or "crowd", large nomadic codfish)
  • Slalom (slalåm; not too steep downhill skiing with many gates and turns)
  • Telemark (a type of ski turn or style of skiing named for the Telemark region in Norway)
  • Uff da (mild expletive, can also be spelled oofda, ufda, oofta and ufta)
  • Yngling (sailing boat class, from the Norwegian word for "youngster")

See also

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Published - January 2009

This glossary is available under the terms
of the GNU Free Documentation

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