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Norwegian word of the day: Tøffelhelt

If you’re called a tøffelhelt, it may be time to stand up for yourself.
If you’re called a tøffelhelt, it may be time to stand up for yourself. Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond.
If you’re called a tøffelhelt, it may be time to stand up for yourself.

Why do I need to know this?

Including Norwegian expressions into your growing vocabulary is an excellent way to integrate and become more comfortable with your new language. But before you start throwing them around in daily conversation, you’re going to want to make sure you know exactly what an expression means, especially if it can be teasing or even degrading in nature.

What does it mean?

When directly translated to English, tøffelhelt means “slipper hero”. What it really means is “pushover” or “whipped”. Tøffelhelt is a teasing and/or derogatory expression used to describe a man controlled by his wife or partner.  

Tøffelhelt is a combined word with German origins. As the old tale goes, a bride and groom who first managed to step on the spouse’s foot would gain power in the marriage. “Slippers” or tøffler were previously perceived as a symbol of the female sex, while boots could symbolize men.

Norwegian synonyms

svekling – weakling 

usselrygg – spineless

Use it like this 

Han har alltid vært en tøffelhelt for damene – He’s always been a pushover with women 

Han sier aldri nei. For en tøffelhelt! – He never says no. What a pushover!


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