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 word of the day: Klein 

Feeling awkward, hungover, maybe a bit sick? This word is the swiss army knife of slang expressions. 

Norwegian word of the day: Klein 

Why do I need to know klein?

Klein is a Norwegian expression which can express several things. It can be used as an informal way of saying that you feel embarrassed, hungover or sick. 

However, the term is most commonly used to express embarrassment or, more specifically, awkwardness in a conversation.

Klein, is a way of twisting the expression kleint, which describes something awkward. While they may appear to be the same word with just a letter chopped off, there are rules for using them to ensure you are grammatically correct. 

Kleint refers to a situation. Bumping into an ex when you’re looking a bit rough is a situation that would be described as kleint

For example, when you see your ex, you’ll think something like dette er kjempekleint!” to yourself, which means “this is super awkward”.

As with the example above, you can latch an intensifier, like kjempe, onto the word to help you express the situation’s awkwardness. 

When using klein, you are referring to your own personal feelings or describing another person rather than a situation. 

Out of the two, kleint is the more commonly and widely used of the expressions. 

Use it like this

Du var skikkelig klein på møtet i dag tidlig. Hva skjer?

(You were really awkward in the meeting this morning. What’s up?) 

Jeg møtte eksen min på butikken i helgen. Jeg visste ikke hva jeg skulle si og var kjempeklein!

(I met my ex in the grocery store this weekend. I didn’t know what to say and was so awkward!)