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NORWEGIAN WORD OF THE DAY

Norwegian expression of the day: Lille lørdag 

Counting down the seconds until the weekend, or fancy a midweek beer? Just as well it's 'little Saturday'. 

Lille Lørdag means little Saturday.
Wednesday is known as little Saturday in Norway.Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

What is lille Lørdag? 

Lille lørdag is an expression rather than a compound consisting of an adjective + noun. The expression means ‘little Saturday’ and is another word for Wednesday. 

The word’s origins date back to feudal times when lords had servants and maids. The lord or lady’s staff would typically have time off on Wednesday evenings, meaning they could go out to dances and socialise. 

Lille lørdag is also the title of a popular comedy show that aired on public broadcaster NRK in the mid-90s. 

The Sweidsh equivalent is lillördag, while in Denmark they use lille fredag as an alternative for Thursday.

What does this tell us about Norway? 

Unlike the aristocracy, the expression has stood the test of time and remains in regular use to this day. 

These days lille lørdag signals the mid-way point of the working week rather than a break from serving lords and ladies. Although depending on your boss, it may essentially feel like the same thing. 

People will normally go out for a beer or a bite to eat to celebrate making it to the midway point of the week and give themselves a taste of the weekend to come.  

The tradition can also teach us a little bit about Norway in the current day, rather than way back when. 

Generally speaking, Norwegians don’t drink much throughout the week. People may have a glass of wine or beer with a meal, but they typically won’t drink much more than that. 

Instead, they’ll save the bulk of their boozing for the weekends. Wednesdays are typically the exception to this social norm.

Use it like this

Skal du drikke øl i dag, det er tross alt lille lørdag!

 (Are you going to have a beer today, it is little Saturday after all!)

Siden det er lille lørdag skal jeg unne meg en øl etter jobb.

(Since it’s little Saturday, I am going to reward myself with a beer after work.)

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NORWEGIAN WORD OF THE DAY

Norwegian expression of the day: Katta i sekken 

If you've bought something online that's completely different to what was advertised, this Norwegian saying should help sum things up. 

Norwegian expression of the day: Katta i sekken 

What does it mean?  

Katta i sekken means “cat in the bag”, unlike the English expression where having something in the bag is great, you don’t want to find a cat in your sack, metaphorically speaking. 

The expression describes a scenario or situation where you’ve bought something that is different to advertised, underwhelming, or if you’ve been ripped off and paid way more than the item is worth. 

It’s used as a verb, for example, Å kjøpe katta i sekken, (To buy a cat in the bag). Also, note that it’s typically the slang katta that’s used rather katt, or katten. 

The term dates back to the middle ages, and a possible origin of the phrase is the story of Till Eulenspiegel, where a cat is sewn into a rabbit skin and sold as a hare. 

Several languages use the term or have their own version of the expression. However, some languages will refer to a pig in the sack, like Swedish, while others use cats as metaphors for the unwanted item. In English, the closest expression is “A pig in a poke.” 

What about ‘letting the cat out of the bag’? 

This term can get confusing in its similarity to “letting the cat out of the bag, ” which means revealing a secret. In Norwegian this is: katta er ute av sekken. 

You may hear someone say something like Fikk du med deg det Vilde sa? Jeg antar katta er ute av sekken. This means: Did you hear what Vilde said? I guess the cat’s out of the bag.

Therefore, if you hear someone talking about cats in bags, it’s best to pay close attention to ensure you’ve listened to the expression correctly. 

Use it like this: 

Jeg kjøpte en telefon på finn.no. Siden det ikke fungerer, kjøpte jeg katta i sekken.

(I bought a phone on finn.no. Since it doesn’t work, I bought a cat in the bag). 

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