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Norwegian word of the day: Sofagris

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 8 Mar, 2023 Updated Wed 8 Mar 2023 12:26 CEST
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Norwegian word of the day. Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

If you’re fond of battening down the hatches and posting up in front of the TV to binge your favourite series, then today’s word may resonate with you.

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What does sofagris mean? 

Thankfully to decipher this word, you won’t need to be an etymologist, as it translates pretty simply and comprises of two common words. Sofa means the exact same as it does in English. Meanwhile, gris is the Norwegian word for pig. 

When directly translated into English, the compound forms the word sofa pig. The word is used to describe someone who is most comfortable at home and on their couch. 

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However, the use of the word pig is more playful than it would be in English and doesn’t have the same connotations as comparing someone to a swine would in another language (at least in this context). 

For example, newspapers and magazines in Norway will typically use the word sofagris when compiling guides to the best shows currently on TV. Vink, the entertainment section of the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has put together a list of TV tips for winter sofa pigs (Tips til vinterens sofagriser) as an example. 

Pigs being pigs mean the word gris is attached to words to poke light fun at someone who (similar to a pig) enjoys eating and laying around. Someone with a sweet tooth may also be referred to as a ‘sukkergris’, meaning sugar pig. 

This isn’t to be confused with a marsiapn gris, a little pig made out of marzipan that plays a part in a popular Norwegian Christmas tradition. 

Use it like this: 

Lina er en sofagris. 

Lina is a sofa pig.

Vi skal på ski i dag, men Jan er hjemme for han er en sofagris.

We are going skiing today, but Jan is at home because he is a sofa pig.

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Frazer Norwell 2023/03/08 12:26

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