Norwegian expression of the day: Ta deg en bolle!

Norwegian expression of the day: Ta deg en bolle!
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Why, if a Norwegian offers you a pastry, they're really telling you to shut up.

What does it mean?

Ta deg en bolle means ‘have a bun’. 

But a Norwegian telling you to have a bun is not offering you a pastry treat. They are telling you to shut up.

Where does it come from?

No one really seems to know where ta deg en bolle originated. It could come from the English expression ‘slow your roll’, which has a similar meaning.

Norwegians use ta deg en bolle if someone is being out of line or made a mistake, or when they disagree with what was just said.

It can mean, ‘relax’, ‘calm down’, or ‘come on!’.

And any Norwegian can tell you that boller – whether it’s eating or bake (making) them – is a relaxing activity. 

What’s so special about the bolle?

While the Swedes are famous for their delicate cinnamon buns (kanelbullar), Norwegians are crazy about their lesser known – but very yummy – boller, which exist in a wide variety and can be bought in basically any supermarket in the country.

Most Norwegians have a favourite bolle. It can be rosinbolle (buns filled with raisins), sjokoladebolle (buns filled with chocolate) or solskinnsbolle (buns with a dollop of sweet yellow cream in the middle), or just plain bolle (without anything on top or inside). 

If you have ever gone for a road trip in Norway, you may have seen that most petrol stations offer a “three for two” bolle-deals – meaning you can get lots of boller for the same price as one (over-priced) bolle in a regular Norwegian bakery.

We do have kanelboller (cinnamon bun) too, although contrary to the Swedish buns complement rather than outrank the other buns.


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