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Norwegian word of the day: Sprengkulde

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

It’ll come as no surprise that in wintery Norway there are many ways you can speak about the cold.

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What does it mean? 

A classic feature of our word of the day articles is pointing out how Norwegians love compounding words. Sprengkulde combines the verb sprenge with the Norwegian word for cold. 

Sprenge is derived from the verb å sprenge. This means “to blast” but can be interchanged with explode or burst. It is derived from the Old Norse sprengja, which was used as “spring” and “burst”. 

Sprenge isn’t used for something that springs, as the Norwegian word springe covers that. 

Kulde in Norwegian means the cold. If you were to say it was cold, you would say det er kaldt (it is cold). 

Combined, they describe an extreme cold or a blasting or blast of cold. 

Before a nasty cold snap, headlines like: Nå kommer sprengkulden.

Typically, such an expression would only be used for freak weather events where it is much colder than average for the time of year or when cold records are at risk of being broken. 

Using the word every time the temperatures drop into the kuldegrader (minus degrees) would be unusual. 

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Use it like this: 

Nå kommer sprengkulden. Har du nok ved hjemme?

The extreme cold is on its way. Do you have enough firewood at home?

Det er viktig å kle seg i ull i sprengkulden.

It’s important to wear wool in the extreme cold.

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