Learning Norwegian with the Corona Crisis! 15 (New) Norwegian Words to Know.

Since the Corona virus has hit us and measures have been taken, many new words appeared in the Norwegian media as well as in daily conversations. The Norwegian language has a huge creative power since one can put two words together to create a new word. So new words can appear very quickly as people can create them themselves. For more posts on Norwegian language, see How to Differentiate Norwegian Dialects or  How to Become Fluent in Norwegian (or Die Trying).

Koronaviruset: the name of the Corona virus in Norwegian. Usually written with a K but also sometimes with a C. If you have questions about what is happening with the Corona crisis in Norway, this is the official website with reliable information (in English): Norwegian Institute for Public Health. 

Hamstreskam: Å hamstre means to hoard. Like a little hamster I guess, accumulating lots of food and toilet paper and medication. The one sentence that was all over the news was “Nordmenn hamstrer dopapir”.Since the authorities as well as supermarkets have said again and again that it is not a good idea to hoard, there is now a shame associated to hoarding during the Corona crisis, i.e. hamstreskam.

Koronatiltakene: The Corona measures, which refer to the measures taken by the Norwegian government from the 12th of March to close schools, ask everyone who can to work from home, and all measures to stop the spreading of the virus. See here for the measures taken on the 12th of March for 2 weeks. Yesterday 24th of March the government announced these measures would be extended until the 13th of April at least.

Koronakrakk: The Corona crash, namely the economic crash that is on its way due to so many businesses (restaurants, bars, planes etc.) being shut down or on a minimum

Koronafast: When one is stuck somewhere outside of Norway because of the Corona crisis and flights being cancelled, borders closing etc. The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs receives 1500 requests per day from Norwegians stuck abroad who want to come home.

Koronaloven: On the 21st of March, the Norwegian Parliament approved the so-called Corona Law which gives the ruling government the power to change laws during one month in order to have a swifter handling of the Corona crisis in Norway. The first draft of the law gave absolute power to the government over more laws and for 6 months and did not need approval from the Parliament for new laws. It raised huge criticism in Norway among jurists and the opposition. The passed Corona Law now requires a third of the Parliament to stop a law from passing under the Corona Law, and can only be used if regular ways to pass a law/change in the law isn’t possible. The laws that can be modified are listed here, and are anything from Labour Law to Constitutional Law. It is the first time such exception law is used in time of peace in Norway.

Karantenefest: Quarantine party, when people who are supposed to be in quarantine go to a party anyway. Usually they get a huge fineif found. Also used as a term for parents organising a gathering of kids because kindergartens are closed, when they should be home in confinement.

Koronaprofittør: Those taking advantage of the Corona crisis, such as companies selling masks, disinfectant, but also those who speculate and earn money on this crisis (houses, in stock exchange markets etc.).

Hytteforbud: The Hytte ban. The first move of many all over Europe confronted to confinement was to go to the countryside, or for Norwegians to their hytte (cabin). Especially since Easter is near and that is the perfect hytte time. But the government is very clear: nobody goes to their cabin if outside of the municipality where they live. This is leading to massive frustration of hytte-owners who have massively filed for a change of address (10 times more than usual over the past week) in order to legally enjoy Easter week in their mountain cabin. They have even come out in the press to say this ban is against their human rights. The reason behind the decision is that these areas with lots of hytte have health structures adapted to the local population numbers, not to all the holiday visitors. If stuck over there with the virus, they might not be helped or they will have to send helicopters to get them. Very expensive and un-strategic use of resources.

Karantenekos: Having a “koselig” time in quarantine. One can watch lots of movies, read books, take walks (while not meeting anyone too close), cuddle in bed etc.

Koronahelter: The Corona heroes, i.e. those working in the health sector but also all of those whom we need for society to continue working in these difficult times: bus drivers, nurses, supermarket staff, teachers and kindergarten staff, journalists, police officers etc.

Krisepakke: The “crisis package” that the Solberg government put together to mitigate the losses due to the Corona crisis, i.e. for staff put on hold by their employers, and for companies. See here for more details, for employees for ex. they will get full pay for the first 20 days of their “permittering” and then earn 62% of their salary. The same word is used for money given to big companies and banks to make sure they don’t go bankrupt.

Koronaskillsmisse: The Corona divorces, which are predicted to increase due to this crisis where couples have to be home with their kids for over a month.

Bonus words that don’t exist yet but can come along:

Karantene-oppussing: You might have noticed that your neighbours are building and fixing stuff more than usual in your home? I call it Karantene-oppussing, where people are stuck at home and therefore do refurbishment either to fix things or to escape from their family.

Koronakropp: The Corona body, which I believe will be a mix of having put on weight (all gyms are closed and we are eating stupid stuff because stuck at home), being a bit pale (not going out in the sun as much), having bad hair day every day (no hairdresser). Basically we will all need to get in shape after this and get rid of that Corona body!

On similar topics, I have also written Cheer up! 10 Positive Sides of the Coronavirus Quarantine.

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5 thoughts on “Learning Norwegian with the Corona Crisis! 15 (New) Norwegian Words to Know.

  1. Hytteforbud. About changing one’s address to the hytte one: to my knowledge, the Norwegian authorities do not recognize a hytte as a main place to live in.

  2. First lesson of Norwegian:
    You may put -fast behind any noun
    You may put monster- up front of any noun

    Best regards
    Community of norwegian newspapers

  3. Well, this is really too, too funny. I liked it but I can see some folk not liking it because they are so stressed by “social distancing,” or “lockdown.” Thanks for this post! We have a quite new facebook site for residents of the small valley where I live. It’s just for keeping in touch since we are all staying at home. It must remain lighthearted, too. I cannot reveal the name, however. But….this would be perfect to post there, and who knows? Maybe some people would like to learn some Norwegian? I have my Norwegian flag proudly flying all the time.

    1. I’m learning Norwegian and looking for a chance to chat. (I have an Italki lesson a week)
      I can offer English conversation in return – but yours looks perfect!

  4. Just introduced my favourite Viking to this site. Loves it. Hytteforbud ?
    Before corona, firms wanted us to work from home. Home is in an upland valley, a signal black hole, so we found somewhere to work. This is not our official residence.
    Will we be arrested ? Is there a Norwegian word for ‘working base’ ?

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