Cursing Abroad: Norwegian Insults To Round Out Your Studies
You’ve learned your hellos. You’ve learned your goodbyes. But there comes a time in every language learner’s journey where you simply must learn how to deliver a good burn (or at least recognize one when it’s lobbed at you). Fortunately for you, Norwegian insults can be both charming and kind of vicious — a winning combination on all fronts.
If you’re in a pinch, an easy way to offend a Norwegian person is to compare Norway to any other Scandinavian country in an unflattering light (especially Sweden). Or perhaps even worse, snub your nose at Norway’s niche sports.
You’ll probably want to know a few Norwegian insults that are more personal, however. You can start off simple and then gradually complicate things by creating compound profanity-laden insults, like Satan’s forbanna hestkuk (Satan’s cursed horse cock). Norwegians love to use Satan’s name in vain.
Here are a few more to get you started.
Bytting — The word bytt means “change,” and a bytting is a “changeling” — a deranged figure in European folklore that’s essentially a fairy or elf child that was switched at birth with a human baby.
Det er bæsj — Need a matter-of-fact way to tell someone what you thought of their Soundcloud? Just tell them “it is poop.”
Drittstøvel — You can go for the more garden-variety drittsekk, which translates to “shit bag” (and essentially means “asshole”). Or, you can go for a more elevated drittstøvel, which literally means “shit boot.”
Faen — This is probably the most common curse word you’ll encounter in Norway. But if you’re going to insult someone with it, you’ll probably want to combine it into a creative compound term. On its own, it just means “hell” or “the devil” — and it’s kind of like saying “fuck” or “damn” in English. It’s almost like Norwegians are fixated on Satan or something.
Juksemaker pipelort — Literally “cheater pipe shit.” Remember: curses don’t have to make a ton of sense if you can escalate them to three or more components.
Kjerring — This can actually be an insult or a term of endearment, depending on the context you use it in, and also depending on the region of Norway you’re in. It technically means “old woman,” but if what you really mean is “old hag,” then it’s not going to sound so nice.
Klossmajor — A big old klutz. This word literally evokes the concept of “bricks” or “blocks,” so you can imagine a pile of blocks tumbling everywhere as the accused makes their way clumsily through life.
Kronidiot — “Crown idiot.” The ultimate king of all idiots!
Nabb — Here’s a niche one for all of you leetspeak fans: this is the Norwegian translation of “n00b.”
Pling i bollen — “Ping in the bowl,” a.k.a. the sound it makes inside a stupid person’s head.
Satan’s forbanna hestkuk — We’ve been over this already: “Satan’s cursed horse cock.” This is a good example of how you can mash a few expletives together to create something both inventive and perverse.
Texas — Amusingly enough, Norwegians have internalized the image of the Wild, Wild West so thoroughly that “Texas” has become shorthand for “completely crazy” and “out of control.” It’s not always used in a pejorative way (nor is it necessarily a bad thing to be chaotic), but it’s there if you need it.