Norwegian word of the day: Friluftsliv

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 13 Jan, 2023 Updated Fri 13 Jan 2023 14:53 CEST
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Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Today’s Norwegian word of the day should hopefully shed some light on Norwegians’ love for the outdoors.

What does it mean? 

Friluftsliv isn’t a super hard nut to crack when it comes to the meaning of the word. Friluft means open air, and liv means life. 

When you combine the two words, you get outdoor (rather than open-air) life. This concept should perhaps be as (if not more) synonymous with Norway as concepts like hygge. Like hygge, frilustliv can comfortably stray into cliché territory. 

Norwegians are well known for their love of the outdoors, which extends all year round. So come wind, rain, snow or sunshine, they tend to make the most of getting out and about. 

Another saying which exemplifies this approach to outdoor life is “Det finnes ikke dårlig, bare dårlige klær” which means there is no bad weather, just bad clothes. 

This shows that there is no excuse worthy of stopping you from getting out there and enjoying an outdoors lifestyle. 

Norwegians invest heavily in weather-proof and weather-appropriate clothing for year-round activities. Many Norwegians are far more impressed with sports clothes and equipment than they would be a designer items costing a similar amount. 

On social media, there are plenty of groups for people in Norway’s big cities for people looking to enjoy the outdoors life with others. 

These people, or anyone who enjoys spending more time outside than inside, can be referred to as friluftsmenneske- meaning outdoors people. 

Use it like this. 

Norge er kjent for godt friluftsliv.

Norway is known for good outdoor life.

Nina er et friluftsmenneske, hun elsker å gå på ski og tur i skogen.

Nina is an outdoors-person, she loves skiing and going for walks in the woods.

Friluftsliv er viktig for meg.

Outdoorslife is important to me.

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Frazer Norwell 2023/01/13 14:53

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