Norwegian word of the day: Fyllesyke

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norwegian word of the day: Fyllesyke
Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Given the high price of alcohol in Norway, a hangover is something of a luxury problem.


\What does fyllesyke mean?

Directly translated, fyllsyke means hangover. However, unlike the English word hangover, when you break down fyllesyke, it's very clear what it means due to its individual components.

It's a combination of the words fylle, which can mean filling something up – but in this case, it refers to excessive drinking, for example, if someone was to drink until they've had their fill. However, it isn't clear whether fylle hasn't any relation to this expression.


The second part of the word, syke means sickness or illness. When put together, the word means something akin to drunk sickness or excessive drinking sickness, which very accurately describes what precisely a hangover is.

Alcohol in Norway is expensive. Therefore hangovers are compounded with a sense of grief for the money you probably sent to get yourself in such a state. If you can afford to be regularly hungover, congratulations, it's a real luxury problem.

Still, the drinking culture in Norway (unfortunately) lends itself quite well to hangovers. The reason for this is that Norwegians tend to abstain from drinking during the week and instead go heavier on weekends.

Use it like this

Jeg tror jeg blir hjemme i dag, jeg er så fyllesyk.

I think I will stay home today, I am so hungover.

Lisa er fyllesyk, så jeg tror ikke hun kommer.

Lisa is hungover, so I don't think she will come.

Hodepine, kvalme og uro er vanlige symptomer på fyllesyke.

Headaches, nausea and anxiety are normal symptoms of a hangover.


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