For members


Norwegian word of the day: Spøkefugl 

If you’re fond of a joke or two, especially on April Fools Day, then don’t be surprised if the locals start calling you a ‘spøkefugl’. 

Norwegian word of the day: Spøkefugl
If you're fond of a joke. you'll certainly here this one at some point. Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

What does it mean? 

Directly translated, spøkefugl means “joke bird”. The word comes from the Norwegian words for joke (spøke) and bird (fugl). 

The word refers to an individual fond of pranks and jokes and who likes to play the odd (innocent) trick now and again. 

The term can also be used for somebody who enjoys jokes and pranks regardless of whether they are dishing out the humour or on the receiving end of a jape. 

Plenty of parents will also call their kids a spøkefugl if their child is being a bit cheeky. 

Why do I need to know this?

It’s the perfect word to use when you’re on the receiving end of a fun prank or when you hear a great joke. 

Alternatively, you could use it sarcastically if someone’s punchline doesn’t quite meet the mark. 

Use it like this

Jeg er litt av en spøkefugl 

(I am a bit of a joker) 

Ante ikke at de var en slik spøkefugl! 

(I had no idea you were such a joker!)

Du er en skikkelig spøkefugl

 (you are a proper joker)

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For members


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!)