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NORWEGIAN WORD OF THE DAY

Norwegian expression of the day: Legge seg flat

If you lose your neighbour's dog while house sitting, it might be time to legge seg flat.

When you mess up, you'll need this expression in your Norwegian vocabulary
When you mess up, you'll need this expression in your Norwegian vocabulary. Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why should I know this? 

Legge seg flat is a term that when translated to English, could create some confusion. It’s meaning is not taken literally. And it’s often used when you’re running high on emotion. 

A legge seg flat is a broad expression. It could be used to discuss everything from a company filing for bankruptcy to accidentally spilling coffee on the stranger sitting next to you on the subway.

What does it mean?

Directly translated, legge seg flat means “lie down flat”. It really means to admit that you have done something wrong. If you’re asked to legge seg flat, that person is usually asking for an apology or at the very least, an admission that you’re in the wrong. 

The expression is not just used by or for an individual. Groups and businesses can also legge seg flat.

Norwegian synonyms

beklage – apologize

gi opp – give up 

Use it like this 

Nå må du legge seg flat og si unnskyld – You need to give up and say sorry

Bedriften gikk konkurs og måtte legge seg flat – The company went bankrupt and had to go under. 

Member comments

  1. oh man. at 62, this makes me think of my childhood. my sister and me, we played this, literally. Me 🙂 its just burned into my conscience 🙂

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NORWEGIAN WORD OF THE DAY

Norwegian expression of the day: Grevens tid 

Is it a good thing, or a bad thing, if you manage to do something in the "counts time"? Let's find out. 

Norwegian expression of the day: Grevens tid 

What does it mean? 

As mentioned in the intro, “grevens tid” literally translates to the “count’s time”. The count’s time means arriving at a good or lucky moment or achieving or preventing something, typically at the last minute. 

Catch a vase just before it hits the ground, or make it to the station just in time to catch your train? Then you did it in the count’s time. 

The term is said to have originated in Sweden and refers to Count Per Brahe Dy, who became governor of Finland in 1637. It was customary for a count to arrive late to events during the period. This is because, typically, the highest status one held, the more likely they were to come later. 

However, these days the saying isn’t used to describe when someone arrives “fashionably late” to use an English expression. 

Use it like this: 

Nå kom du i grevens tid 

(You came just at the right time.)

Du kom i grevens tid, jeg skulle akkurat til å ringe!

(You came just at the right time, I was just about to call you!)

Nå kom du i grevens tid! Vi skulle akkurat til å spise! 

(You came just at the right time, we are about to eat!)

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