Norwegian word of the day: Trassalder

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

Anyone bringing up small children in Norway will know this word, but it might be a mystery to other foreigners.


What is Trassalder

Trassalder is the age when toddlers become hard work, which in English is called 'the terrible twos', but it can also extend to three- and four-year-olds. 

You'll usually see it in the definite form, trassalderen, where the final 'n' is the equivalent of the English' the'. It is a compound of trass, which means defiance, and alderen, meaning the 'age of'.

This saying, therefore, has the somewhat dramatic (although some parents will argue it isn't) translation of 'the age of defiance'. 

Parents in Norway may use it as a one-word excuse when their child throws a temper tantrum in a busy supermarket. 


Why do I need to know trassalder? 

Trassalderen is the subject of countless articles in newspapers, magazines and parenting blogs. These will have headlines and titles like: trassalder og hvordan du taklar det (The terrible twos and how you cope with it), fem typiske tegn på «trassalder» hos barn (five typical signs of the 'terrible twos' in children). 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also