Norwegian word of the day: Nyttårsforsett

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 5 Jan, 2023 Updated Thu 5 Jan 2023 12:18 CEST
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Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

As the first week of the New Year draws to a close, have you managed to stick to your goals, or have you already faltered?

What does it mean? 

Nyttår Is the Norwegian word for the New Year, being a combination of ny (new) and år (year). Forsett means intent and is more commonly used as a legal term. For example, a forsettlig lovbrudd (intentional offence) is one that is committed on purpose and therefore carries a harsh punishment. 

However, a nyttårsforsett doesn’t carry a harsh punishment, although it may feel like a punishment. The reason for this is that the forsett is an intention or decision to do something that you haven’t been doing up until that point. 

In this sense, the actual translation of nyttårsforsett is a New Year’s resolution: a decision made at the turn of the year to do something new or differently from now on.

Like New Year’s resolutions anywhere else, a nyttårsforsett could be an act: eat more healthily, exercise more, read more books; or a way of thinking: don’t stress about the small things, live for the moment, be more patient.

It’s the time of year when many New Year’s resolutions are being made (and possibly also broken), so you might have heard the term already.

Example

Mitt nyttårsforsett er å bli flinkere til å tilgi folk når de gjør små feil.

My New Year’s resolution is to be better at forgiving people when they make small mistakes.

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Frazer Norwell 2023/01/05 12:18

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