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Norwegian word of the day: Tropenatt

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norwegian word of the day: Tropenatt
If the weather is warm during the day, you may have trouble sleeping during the tropical night that follows. Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

If it’s been hot and humid throughout the day, then the chances are that a ‘tropenatt’ will follow, making it hard to fall asleep.

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What does it mean? 

Tropenatt means “tropical night” in English. It is formed by compounding the words for tropical and night. 

Given that Norway is a country perhaps more famous for its cold winters than warm weather, you may find it surprising that the language has a word for sweltering evenings. 

A tropenatt is an evening where the temperature doesn’t drop below 20C between 8pm and 8am. Apparently, tropical nights are the most common along the Oslo Fjord. The reason for this is that high sea temperatures in the area contribute to the frequency of tropical nights. 

Why do I need to know this? 

Seeing as the winters in Norway are so cold, homes in the country are designed to hold heat as much as possible. Therefore, if you see a tropenatt mentioned by anyone or in the forecast, you can probably expect an uncomfortable night’s sleep. 

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However, if you’ve adopted a few Norwegian habits or home design cues, you may be prepared to combat warm sticky nights. 

This is because Norwegians (and Scandinavians as a whole) will sleep with two single duvets rather than one double one. 

This helps one deal with a tropical night as single duvets allow people to regulate their temperature better when they sleep. Poor temperature regulation and struggles with a large shared duvet contribute to a worse night’s sleep, according to experts.

Use it like this: 

Det er kjempevarmt i dag, og ifølge værmeldingen skal de bli tropenatt I natt også. 

(It’s super hot today, and according to the weather forecast, it’s meant to be a tropical night tonight too.)

 Jeg var så varm i natt. Det var 30 grader og tropenatt. 

(I was so hot last night. It was 30 degrees and a tropical night.) 

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