Norwegian word of the day: Vors 

When it’s so expensive to go out, you shouldn’t be surprised that 'vors' is so common in Norway. 

Norwegian word of the day.
When its so expensive to drink out, vors is a necessity. Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

What does it mean? 

Vors is a slang term and shortening of vorspiel, which means pre-party. So the English equivalent would be pre-drinks/pre’s or pre-game, depending on which side of the Atlantic Ocean you hail from. 

Vorspiel, or vors now that we’re cool and colloquial, typically refers to drinking or gathering before a social occasion or night out on the town. 

Vors is very common before a lot of nights out. If after a night out you want to keep the party going, then you can have a nachspiel (after-party). 

The word has its origins in German. 

Why do I need to know this? 

Not only will it make you sound more like a local when you use it, but the word can also tell us a little about the drinking culture in Norway. 

The first thing it tells us is that Norwegians enjoy letting their hair down because they gather and drink to warm up for a night out drinking. Compared to other cultures, Norwegians typically drink less frequently, but they’ll drink quite a lot when they do. 

For many, vors isn’t just a fun pre-party to meet up to chat over a few drinks or get into the mood for going out, it also serves a more frugal purpose. 

Alcohol is expensive in Norway (I’m sure you’ve heard), and a full night out will place a considerable drain on your wallet, which is why people will meet up and drink a bit before they go out to save a bit of money.  

Use it like this? 

Vi møtes for et vors i huset hans

(We are meeting at his house for pre-drinks

Kommer du på vors på fredag? 

(Are you coming to pre’s on Friday?) 

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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!)