Norwegian expression of the day: Å bli ført bak lyset

Norwegian expression of the day:  Å bli ført bak lyset
Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
If you buy an iPhone online but receive a stick of butter in the mail instead, then you are bli ført bak lyset.

Why do I need to know this expression?

Sure, you can use a Norwegian word to describe a situation or a feeling. But oftentimes, using a popular expression instead of just a single word is a great way to blend in with the locals.
There are many. And we know expressions can feel odd or forced when you hear yourself saying them for the first time out loud. But trust us, most Norwegians appreciate the effort.

What does it mean?

Directly translated to English, å bli ført bak lyset means, “to be led behind the light”. It is a common declaration used when someone describes a time when they were deceived or fooled.

Recently, a popular story that spread in Norwegian news outlets was about a man who bought an iPhone online for 10,500 kroner, only to receive a stick of butter in the mail instead. Yes, sad for him. But also the perfect situation to describe when someone is ført bak lyset.

Similar English expressions include: pull the wool over someone’s eyes, pull a fast one on, or lead up the garden path.

Norwegian synonyms you can use in place of å bli fort bak lyset

bedratt – deceived

bløffet bluffed

dupert– duped


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