Norwegian word of the day: Rekkeviddeangst

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norwegian word of the day: Rekkeviddeangst
Read our latest Norwegian word of the day to learn about range anxiety. Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

While modern technology is meant to make life easier, it has brought a new set of problems and anxieties to deal with, as you’ll learn with our latest Norwegian word of the day.


What does rekkeviddeangst mean? 

Rekkevideangst is a compound word and a relatively new one at that. It is a combination of the Norwegian word for range or perhaps, more specifically, distance, rekkevidde and the Norwegian word for anxiety, angst

Combined, these words make rekkevideangst or range anxiety. Range anxiety typically applies to electric cars and the fear and stress associated with wondering whether your car will have enough charge to complete your journey. 


This is a particularly common problem in Norway for two reasons. First of all, Norwegian motorists have jumped head-first into electrification. The majority of cars sold in Norway are now electric, meaning hundreds of thousands of drivers on Norwegian roads each day with an eye on their charge levels. 

Secondly, several studies have shown that cold winters, for which Norway is famous, can really reduce the range and battery of EVs. This means that range anxiety is much more of a problem when the temperature dips into the minuses. 

Luckily, thanks to the vast infrastructure the country has in place for EV drivers, the risk of running out of battery is actually very low. 

Why do I need to learn this 

It helps to illustrate the ways in which Norwegians like to play around with their language and how the local dialect manages to keep up with the times. 

For example, Norwegians like to use the word angst (anxiety) to form other compounds, which have been adopted and brought into the (almost) everyday vernacular by mostly younger generations. The most famous example of this is drikkeangst. This is where one feels anxious or embarrassed about something they have done while inebriated. 

Compounds themselves are popular in Norwegian to create phrases and expressions. For example, there are several compounds formed from the word døgn, like døgnvill (feeling restless or having no idea what time of day it is) and døgnflue, which is used to describe a relatively short-lived trend or fad. 


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