Norwegian word of the day: Gruglede 

Frazer Norwell
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Norwegian word of the day: Gruglede 
When you're looking forward but you are dreading it slightly. Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Ever look forward to something so much you begin to dread it? The Norwegians have a perfect word for that. 


What does it mean? 

It’s a compound of the words grue which means you are dreading something or not looking forward to it, and glede, which can be used to describe when you are glad, happy or optimistic. 

Putting the two words together, you end up with something like “dread happily” when directly translating the word into English. 

Instead, it means to look forward to an event with a mix of dread and excited anticipation. Think butterflies in your stomach before the first day on a new job. 

The expression is used as a reflexive verb, for example, å gruglede seg (to look forward to something with a bit of dread). 


Why do I need to know this?

As there is no direct English translation, it’s always cool to be able to show off your vocabulary. 

Additionally, it can perfectly sum up a feeling that be hard to describe in other languages. You may feel gruglede when starting a new job when your kids start school for the first time, your first session when you join a new club or team before you tie the knot, or when putting in an offer on the house. 

Therefore, it’s always helpful to a commonly used word for a unique feeling you often get before big positive changes that require a bit of getting used to. 

Use it like this

Jeg har første dag på jobb I morgen. Jeg grugleder meg. 

(I have my first day at work tomorrow. I am looking forward to it, but also dreading it slightly.)

Jeg grugleder meg til å hoppe I fallskjerm på onsdag, men jeg har alltid hatt lyst å gjøre det.

(I am both excited and slightly dreading skydiving on Wednesday, but I have always wanted to do it.)


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