Quiz: How Well Do You Know The Norwegians?

Original illustration by Alice Baguet www.alicebaguet.com for A Frog in the Fjord. All rights reserved
Original illustration by Alice Baguet http://www.alicebaguet.com for A Frog in the Fjord. All rights reserved

You have been living in Norway for a while, or have been reading this blog. In any case, now is time to get your knowledge of this society tested on these 30 questions. Do not use the internet to find the answers, but you can use your Norwegian partner or friends. I thought at first this would be easy for Norwegians but it turns out it is not always the case. The answers are in the links at the end of the quiz. Good luck 🙂

1.What is the combination of spices needed to make the traditional Christmas pepperkaker (gingerbread)?

a. Cardamome, cinnamon, pepper and vanilla

b. Cloves, pepper, cinnamon and ginger

c. Anis seed, cinnamon and ginger

2. What happened on the 17th of May 1814, which became Norway’s National Day?

a. Norway became independent

b. Norway’s Constitution was signed

c. Norway’s first King was crowned

3.Which of these suggestions does not mean tran in Norwegian?

a. It is a red berry, also known as tranbær, cranberry in English

b. It is codliver oil which Norwegians drink a spoon daily in the winter

c. It is a Norwegian island located in Nordland where a famous music festival takes place: the Tranfestival

4. What is considered most rude according to Norwegian social codes?

a. Getting drunk in front of your boss

b. Leaving a party without saying goodbye

c. Talking to a stranger sitting next to you on a bus

5. What is the difference in Norwegian between hyggelig and koselig?

a. There is no difference: hyggelig is the Danish translation of the Norwegian word koselig

b. Hyggelig means that something is depressing and dull, while koselig means that something is warm and cozy

c. Koselig and hyggelig have similar meanings in Norwegian, but koselig is more intimate and represents a deeper feeling than hyggelig, which can be used in a formal setting (it was a hyggelig meeting).

6. What does the word Tater refer to?

a. It is the Norwegian version of tzatziki (yogourt with cucumber and herbs), except that Norwegians replace the yogourt by rømme

b. It is an ethnic group who have been living in Norway since the 1500, also known as the Roma people of Scandinavia

c. It is the Norwegian word for “theater”.

7. How much of the population of Norway died of the Black Plague around year 1350?

a. 25%

b. 52%

c. 66%

8. What is the most Harry combination of male/female names in this list?

a. Kenneth og Doris

b. Jølle Gregor og Mette Marit

c. Torkjell og Gertrud

9. Where does the Venstre party stand according to other parties in the Norwegian political arena?

a. at the left (according to Høyre – the Conservatives)

b. at the left (according to SV- the Socialists Left)

c. at the left (according to the Labour Party – Arbeiderpartiet)

10. How many Sami languages are there?

a. One: the one spoken in the Sami Parliament

b. Two: Sør-samisk and Sjø-samisk

c. Nine: spead over the four countries of Sápmi (Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia)

11. What does the red-green (rød-grønne) alliance mean when talked about in Norwegian politics?

a. the communists and the green party (Rødt og MDG)

b. the labour party and the green party (Arbeiderpartiet og MDG)

c. the labour party and the socialist-left party and the centre party (Arbeiderpartiet og SV og Senterpartiet)

12. If one does not buy any tobacco, what is the maximum number of bottles of wine one can buy on their quota when entering Norway? 

a. 4

b. 6

c. 8

13. What was on the dress of Siv Jensen when she famously screamed “Morrrna Jens” after winning the elections?

a. Giant lipsticks

b. Cactuses

c. Bananas

14. What is KLM known as in Norway?

a. Kirkvaag, Lystad og Mjøen, a trio of Norwegian comedians who made humoristic shows in the 1990’s

b. Kake, Lefse og Marsipan. A traditional trio one eats after a Christmas meal in Norway (Cake, traditional Norwegian potato pancake and marsipan)

c. Klining, Lidenskap og Mononucleose. The famous trilogy linked to one night stands in Norway (Kissing, Passion and Mononucleose)

15. What do Northern Norwegians refer to when talking about “Søringer”?

a. The people from Sørlandet

b. The people from Syden

c. The people who are not from Northern Norway. “Jævla søringa” is the most correct way to say it.

16. Which of this words does not mean “to be drunk” in Norwegian?

a. Drita

b. Pærings

c. Påfyll

17. Why did hundreds of thousands of Norwegian move to the USA and Canada in the 19th century?

a. Because they wanted to travel and see the world

b. Because they were poor and starving in Norway

c. Because there heard there were silver mines there and they needed more for their bunads

18. How much of the surface of the Norwegian land is suited for agriculture?

a. 4%

b. 10%

c. 13%

19. Who is the famous mother of Fabian Stang, the former mayor of Oslo?

a. Sissel Kyrkjebø

b. Sophie Elise

c. Wenche Foss

20. Where does the King of Norway Haakon VII (grand father of current King Harald) originally come from?

a. Iceland

b. Denmark

c. Sweden

21. Why was it a scandal when Prince Håkon married Mette Marit?

a. Because she had been a heroin addict

b. Because she was a single mum

c. Because she underwent a sex change and was previously a man

22.  What does russer mean in Norwegian?

a. Russians

b. Teenagers dressed in red and blue partying in buses before their exams

c. Narcotics

23. Which of these sayings is not Norwegian?

a. Smaken er som baken, den er delt

b. Ingenting er bedre enn Svensker som taper i vinter OL

c. Fylla har skylda

24. What does the Norwegian saying Du, store alpakka (You, big alpaca) mean?

a. That your skin is as soft as the alpaca

b. That you are very surprised

c. That you have to stop eating otherwise you will become as fat as the alpaca

25. Which of these Norwegian cities is called the Paris of the North?

a. Bergen

b. Tromsø

c. Narvik

26. How many minimum number of weeks do fathers get for paternity leave in Norway (paid 100%)?

a. 6

b. 10

c. 16

27. Which of these books is famously written by Ibsen?

a. Sult

b. Peer Gynt

c. Marekors

28. Why did most Norwegians vote to change the government in 2014?

a. Because they did not agree with how Jens Stoltenberg handled the Utøya crisis

b. Because they thought Erna and Siv were cuter than Jens

c. Because they were tired of seeing Jens Stoltenberg’s face on television for 8 years

29. In which situation is it normal to give someone a klem (Norwegian hug) in Norway?

a. When you meet someone for the first time in a party or at work

b. When you leave the office, to say goodbye to your colleagues

c. When you are already feeling close enough to someone, almost intimate

30. What does ass (or Aass) does not mean in Norway?

a. a bum

b. a beer

c. a slang word one puts every second word to look cool

31. Which of these women is a famous Norwegian politician?

a. Gro Harlem Brundtland

b. Gro Nylander

c. Gro Hammerseng


ANSWERS (with links to videos or articles explaining the answer): Question 1 (B)  If your answer was “I do not need to know, I buy ready made pepperkaker dough”, try any recipe. Pepperkaker are very easy to make, Question 2 (B), Quesion 3 (C), Question 4 (C), Question 5 (C), Question 6 (B) Too many people forget that the Tater are an ethnic minority in Norway, often discriminated against, Question 7 (C), yes that many died!, Q8 (A) according to me (Ronny and Doris is another option), Q9 (A) Venstre means “left” in Norwegian, but it sees itself as a centre party in the right block. So it is at the right of all the left parties (Ap, Rødt, SV) but at the left of the right parties (Høyre and FrP), Q10 (C) Yes that many!, Q11 (C). Believe it or not in Norway green is the colour or many different parties including the Centre party. The red-green alliance ruled for 8 years between 2005 to 2013 when they lost the elections to the “blue-blue” alliance (Høyre and FrP), Q12 (B), Q13 (A) It was renamed “the dildo dress”, Q14 (A), Q15 (C) it is nasty to call someone like that (unless you’re Northern Norwegian, then it’s a regular word), Q16 (C) Påfyll means to get a refill of a drink (coffee for ex.), Q17 (B) Yes Norway was not always rich you see…, Q18 (A) Why do you think all your vegetables in the shop come from Spain or New Zealand?, Q19 (C) Sissel is a Eurovision singer, Sophie Elise is a plastified blogger, so it leaves Wenche Foss, the famous actress, to be Fabian Stang’s mum, Q20 (B) Yes, The first Norwegian King was also a migrant once, Q21 (B) Mette Marit was a single mum and in circles where drugs were available (whatever that means), Q22 (A) Russer means Russians, Russ means the teenagers going around in big buses, and rusmidler means narcotics, Q23 (B) I made that one up, Q24 (B), Q25 (B), Q26 (B), Q27 (B) Sult was written by Knut Hamsun and Marekors was written by Jo Nesbø, Q28 (C) according to me (proof is, most people are regretting they elected this government, proof that they had no idea what they were getting themselves into), Q29 (C) this depends on people of course, but this is the general social code in Østlandet/Oslo. Probably does not apply to an island in Nordland, Q30 (A) proof here: Aass beer and for the slang word you’re going to have to trust me :-), 31 (A) She was the first female Prime Minister of Norway in the 1980s. The second Gro is a breastfeeding guru while the last Gro is a handball player.


A Frog in the Fjord: One Year in Norway Book

14 thoughts on “Quiz: How Well Do You Know The Norwegians?

  1. utrolig morsom blogg- jeg føler meg ofte tatt på kornet som en veldig typisk nordmann 🙂
    ville bare si at du kan skifte “hari” til “harry ” – altså navnet Harry , som i våre øyne er selve essensen av det å være “harry 😀

  2. As usual, you pinpoint the norwegian peculiarities with a great sense of humor. However, I miss one small, but important thing in your picture of norwegians (which became apparent in this post): Our love for the norwegian movie “Flåklypa Grand Prix”, which is also sent every christmas eve, on TV2. This is, since it was made in 1975, the only movie to sell more tickets than it is people in Norway, it has sold more that 5.000.000 tickets. (OK, there are more people now, but it wasn’t in the seventies…) This movie pinpoints (as you) what norwegians are all about. See it!

    1. Give yourself 100%, Ingeborg Korme! No one knows for sure if it was 52 or 66% or somewhere in between! There are various estimates by various authorities. There was, of course, no census in those days. Many villages were totally wiped out and in others the survivors weren’t literate. How could we have an exact figure? No one knows! (But Jostedals Rypa did survive!)

  3. Q. 14 made me laugh! You’ve confused two words – lidelse means suffering, and lidenskap means passion. The but by all means: A one night stand very well might be linked to kissing, suffering and mononucleose.

  4. I got 23 correct. Does that mean I know Norway or not?
    I have spent my first years in Norway immersed in my studies at university, and did not spend a lot of time getting to know Norway. I think this has happened in the past 2-3 years (I have been living in Norway for 7 years now).

  5. I didn’t really attempt this test, except I knew the answer for 5. ‘Cause my municipal councillor is of part Norwegian descent. She has a little Christmas news in her newsletter that I got just yesterday. 🙂

  6. There’s a reason that king Haakon’s ordinal number is 7, not 1…:

    Norway was an independent country from when Harald Hårfagre brought together the rural kingdoms into one state; Norway during the 800’s, and until 1380, when Norway went into a formal union with Denmark. From then on, Norway was not independent until 1905.

  7. Very precise observations! as usual.
    I have a comment to the vord “russer”. It also means a hand made cigarette where you roll tobacco in a special pice of paper (sigarettpapir). You may also see it watching cowboy films and watching NRK interviews with norwegian fishermen; they hav always a russer dingling from the left side of the mouth while talking.

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