Thanks to everyone who took part in the first round of voting. The final shortlist is based on the number of nominations the words received, with our jury given the final say whenever a tiebreaker was needed.
VOTE: What's the best word in the Norwegian language?
Upvote your favourite word and help The Local pick the best word in the Norwegian language.
Outdoor life our outdoor activities are often referred to as friluftsliv, literally 'fresh air life'. “It sums up most Norwegian behavior and just sounds very lovely too,” writes Julie, one of our readers who nominated it.
We'll leave the explanation of this two-letter gem to Crystal in Fredrikstad: “It’s so descriptive using only two relatively unimportant letters. There isn’t any substitute in English, well maybe drizzle or mist. But those are much more complex words for what Norwegians have summed up in two letters, it paints a picture not only in how it’s spelled but how it’s said, it’s more a sound than a word. Also when conjugated: 'det yrer litt'. I see foggy whispers of misty rain in the fjords.”
The Norwegian word for 'welcome' is a “very positive and kindly way” to say it, writes a reader from Ulsteinvik, who nominated it.
Is 'fjord' the most famous Norwegian word? Whenever i hear “the fjords”, I can always think of Norway,” writes Mayolyn.
'Love' in Norwegian has a certain ring to it. “Its pronunciation is sweet and the meaning is sweeter”, wrote an anonymous reader as they suggested it for our vote.
Another word which channels the outdoorsy Norwegian spirits, utepils means a beer that is drunk outside. “A sure sign of spring”, according to reader Karin in Nordland.
It's a composite word, but 'chocolate cheese cake' has a great rhythm when pronounce in Norwegian. “It's very pleasing to say”, writes Max in Bergen. And also to eat, we'd add.
“I think this is a wonderful concept that has a name only in Norwegian,” writes Catherine, who nominated it for our poll. It is a little difficult to pin down, but means something like 'voluntary work accomplished for the good of the community'.
The word for 'jam' ('jelly' to those in the United States) “sounds fluffy and cute when you say it, without knowing the meaning”, according to Martina in Oslo.
A peninsula in Norwegian is a halvøy or 'half-island'. That gives it a “weird sound but sense of logic”, according to reader Oliver.