Idiomatic expressions in Norwegian

Norwegian is a wonderful and special language which is not so often learned. But the Norwegian language is a North Germanic language and is spoken in Norway. In addition, you can also find a lot of similarities with Swedish or Danish. We already wrote an article about the Norwegian language which you can read here again: 15 facts about the Norwegian language.

But the important part for language learners is a list with expressions. These could be useful words or sentences, but also some idiomatic expressions. With these you can impress your teachers, your friends and – of course – natives. So start using these one to become a better speaker of Norwegian!

Idiomatic expressions in Norwegian

About love

Mo I knærne = weak at the knees (meaning: to feel exhausted, nervous or scared)

Å leve på luft og kjærlighet = living on air and love (meaning: throwing all cares to the wind because you are so in love)

Hjertet I brann = Heart on fire (meaning: to be head over heels in love in someone)

About unfortunate situations

Å få jernteppe = to have an iron curtain (meaning: blanking out)

Å miste hodet = to lose one’s head (meaning: to lose self-control)

Å sette bukken til å passe havresekken = setting the goat to guard the bag of oats (meaning: the goat has been set to guard the bag of oats)

About challenging situations

Jo flere kokker, dess mer søl = The more cooks, the bigger the mess (meaning: too many cooks spoil the broth)

Å møte seg selv I døren = to meet oneselv in the doorway (meaning: to suffer the consequences of your own actions or decisions)

Holde tungen rett I munnen = keeping your tonuge straight in your mouth (meaning: to focus hard to avoid making a mistake)

Å bli kastet ut på dypt vann = to be thrown into deep water (meaning: into the deep end)

Å ha en høne å plukke med noen = to have a hen to pick with someone (meaning: to have an unpleasant issue which should be discussed)

About money

Koste skjorta = Consting one’s shirt (meaning: it is very expensive)

Én fugl I hånder er bedre enn ti på taket = one bird in the hand is better than ten up on a roof (meaning: a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush)

About folk origins

Å gjøre noen en bjørnetjeneste = doing someone a bearfavor (meaning: to do more harm than good)

Would you like to learn more about idiomatic expressions in Norwegian? Then check our language schools to start your language career!

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