Norwegian expression of the day: Skjerp deg

Agnes Erickson
Agnes Erickson - [email protected]
Norwegian expression of the day: Skjerp deg
Here's today's word of the day. Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Skjerp deg is the verbal equivalent of clapping your hands in front of someone’s face.


Why do I need to know this?

If someone tells you to skjerp deg, you’re likely not paying attention. That, or you may have just done something a little idiotic. Skjerp deg can be used in many instances. By teachers who see their students staring dreamily out the window instead of at the white board. By the police officer who knows the criminal is lying to them. Or by the friend who sees you walk right into traffic while texting on your phone. 

What does it mean?  

Directly translated to English, skjerp deg means, “sharpen yourself”. Skjerp deg is often used as a stern command. It is not rude to say to others. Though the expression is most often used by a person who is in charge. You wouldn’t tell your boss or teacher to skjerp deg, for example. 


Norwegian synonyms to skjerp deg

følg med - follow along 

være oppmerksom - pay attention 

Use it like this 

Hei, så du at det var et rødt lys? Skjerp deg! - Hey, did you see it was a red light? Pay attention! 

Nå må du skjerpe deg og slutt å tull. - Now you need to pay attention and stop fooling around. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also