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Norwegian word of the day: Attpåklatt

The Norwegians have the perfect saying to describe a significant age gap between you and your siblings. 

The Local Norway's Norwegian word of the day.
The Local Norway's Norwegian word of the day. Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

What does Attpåklatt mean?

This word refers to a sibling born long after their brothers and sisters. There are no specific rules on what gap there has to be between siblings for the youngest to be an attpåklatt. However, it is typically used to refer to kids born a minimum of seven to ten years after their siblings. 

When describing yourself or your sibling as an attpåklatt, people will automatically understand that there is a significant age gap.

This word is interesting because there isn’t a direct English equivalent. One thing to note when using the word is that the Norwegian term doesn’t say anything or imply anything about the child much younger than their brothers and sisters being a surprise for the parents. Therefore, it doesn’t distinguish between whether the child was planned or not. 

 Use it like this: 

Lillesøsteren min er ti år yngre enn meg. Hun er en skikkelig attpåklatt.

(My little sister is ten years younger than me. She is an “attpåklatt”.)

Han hadde to voksne barn fra før, men ønsket en attpåklatt.

(He had two adult children but wanted an “attpåklatt” – a child that is much younger than their siblings.)

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Norwegian word of the day: Lynrask 

If you want to learn today’s word, you’d better make it snappy.

Norwegian word of the day: Lynrask 

A compound adjective that comes from two different words, the noun lyn (‘lightning’) and adjective rask (fast) meaning (you guessed it) ‘lightning fast’ or ‘as fast as lightning’.

Saying something is lynraskt, or, in adverb form, has been done, lynraskt can be meant as a compliment or a more straightforward description- for example, det var lynraskt (that was super quick).

It’s also quite common to say something is needed lynraskt when you mean ‘as soon as possible’, although there is also a more exact and common equivalent to ‘as soon as possible’: så snart som mulig or alternatively så raskt som mulig (‘as quickly as possibly’).

Why do I need to know Lynrask? 

English has a lot of synonyms related to ‘fast’ or ‘quickly’: swift, rapid, brisk, turbo, express and so on.

Such words are far less common in Norwegian, so instead, it is much more common to compound an intensifier with an adjective to emphasise a point. An example would be kjempestor (super big).

Alternatively, you can use adjectives that use a noun in compound form to enforce the original meaning, such as lynraskt.

Use it like this: 

Jeg sendte søknaden min i går og svaret kom lynraskt.

I sent my application yesterday and the answer came back swiftly.

Så du Erling Haaland spille i helgen? Han er lynrask. 

(Did you see Erling Haaland play at the weekend? He is lighting quick)