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NORWEGIAN WORD OF THE DAY

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 
This describes if you feel awkward, rather than if something is awkward. Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR.

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!) 

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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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