Swearing in north Norway is an art. It's so much more than an uttering of obscenities and profanities that most people won't raise the proverbial eyebrow unless you really overdo it. Swearing up there is full of nuances. I'm not saying that swearing in other geographical regions aren't, but it's a fact of life that you could be compared to a particularly bad-looking piece of horse genitalia in the colder parts of Norway, and the person behind it will not necessarily mean you any harm. In fact, a Nordlending who reportedly called a police officer in Bodø by the name of "hæstkuk" was acquitted after being tried on the matters.

In order to establish what a person in the north of Norway actually means when swearing at you, you need to know some or all of the following:

  • Is this person an aquaintaince of yours?
  • If he or she is, how close an aquaintaince?
  • What mood is the person in?
  • Is he older or younger than you?
  • What did you just do?
  • Has this person been swearing at you before?
  • Is he or she smiling?
  • What body language accompanies the swearing?
  • Does the person look you in the eye?
  • Are the both of you drunk?
  • There's more to it than this, but you get the idea. Now for the actual list of words you can expect to receive:

  • Hæstkuk or Hæstpeis- Literally "Horse's penis". Used alone or as a multiplier. Mostly used as "dear friend"
  • Tykjepelk - A derogatory term used for any male. "Tykje" is a commonly used name for the devil in person. "Pelk" means something like "little ugly person"
  • Strik - A rather mild word used for describing little boys in a slightly bad way
  • Sjettstaur - Used to describe what the person saying it thinks of the other person's hygiene. Null and void if the other person in fact is very dirty
  • Kuk - The most commonly used word for penis in all of the dialects in the north of Norway
  • Kommelpong - Used to describe someone who works slowly
  • Railltykje - If you are very fond of girls, this is the thing you might find yourself being called. "Raill" is normally used for male cats or dogs in heat
  • Peis - a suffix for almost anything. If used as a suffix it could mean that the subject is a lot of something. Example: Slørvpeis: a person who makes a lot of mess
  • Habjakk - a very derogatory word for any person you dislike
  • Lakkalaur - a very lazy person
  • Fjott - a stupid person
  • Sopskoilt - a very stupid person
  • Most (if not all) of these words are extremely hard to translate to any language, even Norwegian bokmål. Also keep in the back of your head that the parameters I listed in the beginning of this writeup might turn the whole thing on it's head. It's therefore not uncommon to hear a Nordlending describe his best friend in loving terms as "hæstkuk".

    I am not making this up.

    This writeup's grammar was nitpicked by nocte.

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