Norwegian expression of the day: Sommerfugler i magen

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norwegian expression of the day: Sommerfugler i magen
This is the Norwegian equivalent of having butterflies in your stomach. Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Eagerly anticipating something, but also have some nerves? In that case, you have "summer birds" in your stomach. 


What does it mean? 

Very literally, sommerfugler i magen means "summer birds in the stomach". What it really means is "butterflies in your stomach". Having butterflies in your stomach is a fairly common expression in English. 

Sommerfugler in isolation is an example of Norwegian giving animals fairly literal names. 


Other entertaining – and very literal – Norwegian animal names include nebbdyr or "beaked animal" for a ducked bull platypus and flaggermus or "flapping mouse" for a bat. You can read more about animals with very literal Norwegian names here

Norwegians use butterflies in the stomach in a similar way to most other languages, whereby it's used to describe a mix of nervousness and excitement. So, for example, you might feel butterflies in your stomach on the first day of a new job. 

A similar sensation, although one which describes feeling more anxious or dreading something, would be gruer meg. 

Use it like this: 

Hver gang jeg ser Simon får jeg sommerfugler I magen.

(Everytime I see Simon I get butterflies in my stomach)

Jeg skal hoppe i fallskjerm I morgen, jeg har skikkelig sommerfugler i magen, men gleder meg!

(I am skydiving tomorrow. I have lots of butterflies in my stomach, but I am excited!)


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also