Norwegian word of the day: Skål

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Norwegian word of the day: Skål
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Let’s toast the latest Norwegian word of the day, which also has another meaning.


What does skål mean? 

Skål is the Norwegian version of “cheers”, or “santé” if you are French, “cin cin” if you're Italian, or “prost“ if happen to be German. 

Essentially, it’s the Norwegian word used when toasting. The word is the same in Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. 

It’s an abbreviation of din skål and din og min skål. In this form, skål referred to the vessel people were drinking beer or wine from. 

This drinking vessel, or drikkekar, was something that was typically passed around for people to drink from communally in centuries gone. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, drinking vessels made from silver, ceramics and glass were popular. Those in rural areas used painted wood.

These vessels came in various forms, such as ølboller (or beer bowls). These bowls could be ornate or have humorous inscriptions and were widely used until the 19th century. 


Skål means both a“toast” (en skål) and what you say when you toast, unlike in English, where there are separate words for both. 

Skål is also the Norwegian word for bowl or dish. When shopping for homeware, there will be a section for skåler og boller (dishes and bowls)

Other uses include petriskål, which is the Norwegian word for petri dish. 

Use it like this

La oss ta en skål for det lykkelige paret!

Let us have a toast to the happy couple

Skål for det!

Cheers to that!


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