Norwegian expression of the day: Gi jernet

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Ingri Bergo - [email protected]
Norwegian expression of the day: Gi jernet
When you need to dig in and give it your all, its time to give it your all. Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

In Norwegian, you're not doing something properly unless you're giving the iron.


Why do I need to know gi jernet?

Because if someone shouts that you should 'give the iron', it's not code for them demanding that you iron their shirt or punch someone in the face.

What does it mean?

Gi jernet literally translates to ‘give the iron’, which sounds a little Viking. 

Norwegians use gi jernet when they want to rile each other up before a big effort.

Gi jernet is like saying ‘let’s give it our all’, like when long-distance runners sprint the last part of a race. Gi jernet means spare no energy, go flat battery.

While all of this ticks the boxes of the mighty Vikings, they had little to do with this expression. Jernet is (sadly) not a referral to a deadly iron sword, but a metaphor for the gas pedal in a car.


Gi jernet is similar to saying ‘hit the gas’ in English, only that it can be used in lots of other settings than while driving.

A football coach might shout gi jernet, gutta! (give the iron, lads!) before a big game. Your co-worker might exclaim, nå gir vi jernet, dere! (let's give the iron, guys!) before a big team presentation.

A Norwegian dad dreaming of his kid becoming a professional cross-country ski athlete, might roar nå gir vi jernet, gutten min! (let's give the iron, my boy!) before a Sunday ski trip.

Use it like this

Kom igjen, gi jernet, nå. Det er ikke langt igjen. - Come on, give it all you have now. There's not far left.
Hun er god, hun gir alltid jernet og står på til jobben er gjort. - She's good, she always gives her best effort and keeps on until the job is done.

Gi full gass - step on it



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