Monday, November 15, 2010

Norwegian Phrases

Google image
If you come from a Norwegian background, I'm sure you’ve heard the phrase uff da.  It’s an expression that tends to express annoyance. 

For example, if you stub your toe the phrase uff da might come out of your mouth.  Or if you hear something distasteful about someone, you say uff da.

I remember hearing other Norwegian phrases growing up. 

“Nei da” and “fy da” were a few of them.  I won’t shock you with how my family defined these phrases but it usually had to do with something that was unbelievable.

My paternal grandmother used another Norwegian phrase and it was "pssta Henry".
My dad, Grandpa, Aunt Ruth, Nana
My Nana never learned to drive after moving from Norway to the US.  After all, she settled in Brooklyn and cars weren’t really needed for transportation. 

But whenever my grandfather was driving, Nana had her own set of brakes on the passenger side of the car.  When she thought my grandfather should be applying his brakes more quickly, she simply helped him out as she warned “pssta Henry”.

Cousin Hilde's dog
I was taught many other Norwegian phrases while growing up.
  • "Takk for maten" means ...thank you for the food.
  • "Kan du snakke norsk" means ...can you speak Norwegian?
However, I'm so thankful for Google Translate.  I've been able to communicate easily with many of my Norwegian relatives on Facebook.  It's been such a gfun experience for me.

Are there any other Norwegian Americans out there?  Do you have any favorite expressions that you still use?

Blessings and love,

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Sandy said...

No, not Norwegian but I loved
reading about the phrases.
And the doggie is ADORABLE!!
Hope you have a wonderful

joyce said...

Yes, I do - Vær så god - when you call someone to the table to eat was one time my mother always said this - it means "there you go" but it has the understanding of inviting someone to the table.
At night you would hear my mother and father say to each other
Dad - god natt min elskede, sove godt Mother - takk du også
Have you discussed fiskeboller, torskerogn, kjøttboller, lefse, and other delightful culinary offerings? if not, that might be a good blog :-) And with Jul coming, you must not forget krumkake, julekake, etc. :-)
Tusen Takk. Alt for Norge

LisaShaw said...

Hey Sweetie, I so enjoyed this! Make me feel that much closer to you. I love that you and Sonja share your history with us.

I love you!

Beth E. said...

No Norwegian Americans in these here parts, Debbie! I can talk in Hillbilly language, though! ;-)

Loved this post and learning more about you and your heritage!

Sonja said...

I came over early this morning and left comments and somehow they got zapped! You KNOW that UFF DA is part of our vocabulary around here. Even our kids say UFF DA to THEIR kids now! I can see my mom saying that through the years. In fact, the last words she ever said were UFF DA, after she had a stroke and went into a coma. It sounds strange, but somehow it was fitting Debbie. She would be smiling reading this!

The other one she always said was Stockask, or however that is spelled. I can't even find it on Google. It meant, 'bless your heart' or something similar. We heard that 100's of times and still say it to our kids.

What fun... love this my Norwegian sister!

Sonja said...

P.S... I forgot to tell you that my daughter and I went to a Norwegian shop in Texas a few weeks ago. They had a mug which I loved... it said UFF DA Y'ALL! :)

L-Jay said...

Google translate is a daily event for

I hear Moose say 'uff da' to himself when ever the kids get into mischief but I never knew what it actually So thanks!

Anonymous said...

Good Article

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