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Norwegian word of the day: Brillefin

Did you just have a great day at work and order your favourite take-out for dinner? Brillefin!

Norwegian word of the day: Brillefin
If its all going your way, you can add this phrase to your vocabulary. Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know this? 

It’s always a plus to learn as many positive adjectives as you can when learning a new language. After all, who doesn’t love having a larger vocabulary when they rave about something wonderful? 

What does it mean?

Directly translated to English, brillefin means “wonderful” or “amazing”. There is no official explanation as to how this slang word developed. It first started showing up in Norwegian literature and started being spoken in the 1930’s. 

How do I use it?

Brillefin is often used in the middle of a sentence. It’s an expression that can be used in both casual and formal conversation. 

Brillefin isn’t an adjective that only describes tangible objects. Brillefint can also be used to describe an amazing or beautiful idea. 

Norwegian synonyms

svært fin – super nice

glimrende – brilliant

ypperlig – excellent

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Norwegian word of the day: Syden  

It’s the time of year when Norwegians will start chatting about going to the “the south” more and more. 

Norwegian word of the day: Syden  

What does it mean? 

Syd is a more traditional and outdated way of saying south in Norwegian. These days sør is the most common and widely used way of saying south and is the form used when giving directions. 

By adding “en” to the word, it becomes “the south”. 

The word is an informal way of describing a holiday. However, it doesn’t just describe any holiday, it means a getaway to another country further south than Norway. 

But, not just any country further south than Norway, because otherwise, that’s most of the world. For example, spending your holidays in the Shetland islands wouldn’t qualify as heading south. 

The saying refers to warmer climates, more or less exclusively. Furthermore, it’s commonly used for “typical” Norwegian holiday destinations such as the Canary Islands, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. 

If you find it slightly confusing, then don’t worry, plenty of children without a solid grasp of geography do too. For example, if told by their parents that they are going to “syden” for a holiday, some children will assume this is a country, rather than an expression. 

There isn’t really an equivalent English saying. The closest is used to describe the migration of birds seeking warmer weather in “heading south for the winter”. 

Use it like this

Jeg gleder meg kjempe masse til sommerferien, for da skal jeg til Syden. 

 (I am really looking forward to the summer holidays because then I am headed to “the South”. )

Anna: Hva skal du i sommer Karen?

(Anna: What are your plans for summer, Karen?)

Karen: Jeg skal til Syden!

 (Karen: I am going to “the South”)