Norwegian expression of the day: Fortelle hvor skapet skal stå

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norwegian expression of the day: Fortelle hvor skapet skal stå
If you need to take charge of everything, then you'll need to tell the closet where to stand. Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

If you feel that others are stepping all over you and it's time to stand up for yourself, you'll need them where the closet stands.


What does it mean? 

Directly translated, it means "to tell the closet where to stand". Norway hasn't invented self-moving furniture to upstage its neighbour Sweden- known for its flatpack furniture. Instead, it's simply a metaphor for putting things in their proper place. 

This could refer to someone telling you that you should be more assertive and stand up for yourself. 


Why do I need to know this? 

If you hear a Norwegian say this, you may think you've misheard them when they come up with a quip about moving the furniture around seemingly out of context. 

Telling the cupboard where to stand refers to taking charge or standing up for yourself. A person who knows where the closet stands can be seen as opinionated and determined. 

By directing the metaphorical furniture around you are seen as taking control of the situation. 

Use it like this: 

Du må fortelle Jonas hvor skapet skal stå. Det er på tide.

You have to tell Jonas where the closet should stand. It's about time.

 Du skulle hørt Lise på møtet vårt i går, hun fortalte virkelig Mads hvor skapet skal stå. 

You should have heard Lise in our meeting yesterday. She really told Mads where the closet should stand (she really put Mads in his place).


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