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Norwegian expression of the day: Knute på tråden

When there’s an issue between two people, there may be a “knot on the rope”. 

Norwegian word of the day.
Norwegian word of the day. Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR.

What does it mean? 

Knute på tråden means a ‘knot on the rope’. The expression is an idiom which describes a problem between two people. 

It’s used to say that two people share a strained relationship or aren’t on speaking terms rather than referring to a specific issue. 

For example, you’d use it to notice that two people aren’t getting on rather than to specify exactly what is happening between the pair. 

The term isn’t just used for romantic relationships but also between family members and friends too. 

If you are at a function and know two people not speaking or trying to avoid one another, then you would be able to describe them as having a not between them. 

This isn’t the only term involving knots in Norway. There is also hogge knuten over, which means to deal with an issue in an efficient or ruthless (sometimes reckless manner). It means to cut the knot off, eliminating it entirely. 

A similar saying in English may be “to pull the bandaid right off”. 

Use it like this:

Linde nekter å reise hjem til jul, det er en knute i tråden mellom henne og hennes lillesøster

(Linde refuses to travel home for Christmas. There is a knot in the thread between her and her little sister.)

 La du merke til at det er en knute i tråden mellom Jonas og faren hans?

(Did you notice that there is a knot in the thread between Jonas and his father?).

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Norwegian word of the day: Jevndøgn

The light and the dark side are now in balance.

Norwegian word of the day: Jevndøgn

What is Jevndøgn

Jevndøgn is the term used to describe the spring (vårjevndøgn) and autumn (høstjevndøgn) equinoxes.

On the day of an equinox, daytime and nighttime are of approximately equal duration (this is true at the same time all over the planet, not just in Norway).

The word used in English, equinox, comes from Latin: aequus (equal) and nox (night). The Norwegian term is directly related to Old English and Norse. Jevn is an adjective similar to “even” and can be used to describe a physical quality (en jevn overflate is “an even surface”), as well as to mean “equal”.

While jevn is “equal” when talking about the equinox and in various other formulations related to measurement, a different word, likestillingis used to mean “equality”.

Døgn is a useful Norwegian word that doesn’t have an exact English translation but can both mean “a day” or “a 24-hour period”. It’s usually used in preference to the more common dag (“day”) when talking about the amount of time within a day and not to the day in general.

For example, a store that is open 24 hours a day is described as døgnåpent, “24-hour-open”. 

Why do I need to know jevndøgn?

September 23rd (sometimes 22nd) is the autumn equinox. From that date onwards, days include more dark minutes than light ones.

The Norwegian word for solstice is solhverv, from sol (sun) and hverv, an archaic word for “turning”.


I dag er det jevndøgn, når dag og natt er like lange.

Today is the equinox, when day and night are the same length