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Norwegian word of the day: Påskekrim

Norwegian word of the day: Påskekrim
Caption photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Nothing screams Easter in Norway more than reading about gruesome murders and cunning criminals. 

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What does it mean? 

Påskekrim is quite a straightforward word to decipher as it combines the words for Easter (Påske) and crime (krim). 

The word doesn't refer to a sudden spike in crime related to the Easter break. Instead, it refers to the Norwegian phenomenon of crime literature and TV shows surging in popularity during Easter. 

The hype around påskekrim came about due to a successful yet deceptive marketing campaign by one of Norway's largest publishers, Gyldendal, in 1923.  

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They placed a newspaper ad in the paper Aftenposten announcing their latest book release. The ad, designed to look like a regular news article, carried the attention-grabbing headline "The Bergen railway plundered" (Bergenstoget plyndret i natt). The fake headline was the title of a soon-to-be-released crime novel by authors Nordahl Grieg and Nils Lie rather than a real story.

The advertisement looked so real that many believed they had relatives on the train who were robbed. 

This early instance of fake news had the desired effect as the book eventually sold out. The following year saw the first major marketing campaign for påskekrim. 

Given Norway's relatively low crime rate, it is only natural that tales of morbid murders and grizzled detectives fascinate so many Norwegians at this time of year when many will be curled up in front of a fire in a secluded cabin. 

By the 1970s, Easter crime became popular on the small screen and in printed form. Each year, Norwegian newspapers regularly publish their definitive list of the best shows to watch and the best books to read over the Easter period. 

Use it like this: 

Familien ser på påskekrim på tv hvert år.

 My family watches easter crime on TV every year.

Jeg gleder meg til å lese påskekrim på hytta i påsken.

I look forward to reading easter crime at the cabin this Easter.

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