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Norwegian word of the day: Gruglede 

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

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

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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For members


Norwegian word of the day: Yr 

Given how often the weather changes in Norway, this is a useful one to know.

Norwegian word of the day: Yr 

What does it mean? 

Yr is the word used to describe a light drizzle in Norway. Yr is also the name of the country’s most popular weather app, which is run by public broadcaster NRK and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. 

Drizzle is precipitation with a drop size of less than 0.5 mm and is a transition between rain and clouds. Given you’ll unlikely to be measuring rain drops as they fall, you’ll typically be able to tell drizzle from feel. 

Most Norwegians are undeterred by the presence of drizzle unless they are expecting heavier rain to follow. 

The reason for this is that I am sure you will have had a Norwegian tell you at some point now when you’ve complained about being cold or wet- det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær (there is no such thing as poor weather, just inappropriate clothes”). 

However, yr shouldn’t be disregarded every time you come across it or if it’s on the forecast, especially up in the mountains, as a little bit of drizzle can soon become a rain shower. 

Use it like this: 

Det er meldt yr i morgen tidlig, kanskje vi bør utsette teltturen vår?

(It’s meant to be drizzling tomorrow morning, maybe we should postpone our camping trip?)