7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians


Here I've got some hilarious facts about Norway and Norwegian. Many of the facts are a bit stereotypical, but that's a part of my sense of humor. I'm Norwegian myself.

1. Odd names

7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians

How good you are in speaking a language is maybe a classical challenge that many can relate to. But if you do have a name that's inappropriate international in addition, things gets even more difficult.

Norway has many odd names and they are especially weird for English speaking people. There are actually people in Norway who are called Odd, Simen, Gunn, Randi and Roar. In the 20th century these names were especially quite popular and common. Today these names aren't so popular because many Norwegians are more aware of which names fit internationally.

But there are still people with these names in 2016. "Odd" means "weird" in English, but "roar" is what many wild animals do from a English speaker's perspective. "Gunn" gets easily misheard as "Gun" and "Randy" gets easily misheard as "Randy," which has a inappropriate meaning. And it isn't any funnier to have "Simen" as your name since it gets easily associated with a male thing.

2. Norwegian's personal space

7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians

The Canadian author Julien Bourrelle's illustration as to how you should behave on public transportation in Norway.

Norwegians tends to be very shy in public places. Especially in places where people are very dense like elevators and other public transportation. If there's a free seat on the bus, you'd rather pick that one than sit beside another person. Norwegian people prefer personal space and you should never sit next to a stranger as long there are free seats available.

You should avoid staring and making eye contact with strangers as well in order to avoid awkward moments. Eye contact is impolite. People in Norway don't greet each other in the grocery store or the shopping mall either, except if they know each other. If you're walking around the mountains, greetings are more accepted.

3. Talks with an in-breath

7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians

In the Norwegian language you can talk with an inhalation. Words like "Ja" which means "Yes", it's very common with an in-breath.

4. Short sentences

7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians

Many Norwegian people often use slang and do express themselves with only a few words. If a Norwegian doesn't understand what you say and wants you to repeat it, they usually say "Hæ?". Some foreigners mistake Norwegians as impolite.

5. Midnight sun

7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians

Midnight Sun at North Cape Norway.

In the Northern part of Norway the population experiences the midnight sun when it's spring and summer. Even though it's nighttime, it's still sunny.

6. Lunch

7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians

Bread with "Brunost", translated to English "brown cheese".

It's very common in Norway to bring along your own lunch to school and work. Most schools and workplaces in Norway don't serve warm lunch. The most traditional one is a packed lunch and it usually contains bread with cheese and an apple. It's very rare for Norwegians to bring along a hot lunch.

7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians

Bread with "Fårepølse" and cucumber.

7. Take off their shoes inside

7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians

When Norwegians enter their houses, they always take off their shoes. They aren't like many Americans who walk inside their houses with shoes on. But in public places like shopping malls, workplaces, schools etc. they do wear shoes. If you're a foreigner who visits Norway, never enter a person's home without taking off your shoes. Norwegian do have corridors where you can put them.

7 Funny Facts About Norway and Norwegians
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3Guy Opinion

Most Helpful Guy

  • meatballs21
    I had a Norwegian housemate, and he got me hooked on that goddamn cheese. In fact, I have some in my fridge and I'm going to have to eat some now. Ski Queen.

    He was a cool guy. There were quite a few Norwegians on my course at university. I remember one girl who looked like she'd been photoshopped, she was so strikingly beautiful. She had skin like ivory but with a faint rosiness, icy blue eyes and vividly orange hair.

    Seriously, the whole reason I have a cheese slicer (and not just a grated) is to slice the cheese properly. Ooooh, toaster's done.
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girl

  • Anonymous
    Oh god I can relate to so many of these. I`m Norwegian, too. We`re one of a kind aren`t we xD I don`t like how cold and distant we are. I am half American so I feel more americanized than norwegian. I just don`t understand these people lol
    Is this still revelant?
    • Cool. I thought I was the only Norwegian here.

      Så kan du skrive litt norsk?

    • Anonymous

      Jeg er norsk :) født og oppvokst i Drammen!

    • Oja. Skjønner. :) Kjekt å vite at jeg ikke er den eneste norske her.

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

    i think randi/randy is a perfectly fine name and it's not uncommon in america either. the term you're thinking of is not even that well known.
  • vonasaurus
    wearing shoes indoors is blasphemous! lol.

    thanks for sharing this with us. it's really cool to learn new things about places we've never been~ culture was made to be celebrated and shared. :)

    tl;dr i love unique names and even have a cousin called astrid (despite that side of the family being scottish). my father's side is italian and ontario, the province i grew up in, is a popular boys' name over in italy. so what we consider to be "odd" might be totally normal somewhere else.
  • ObscuredBeyond
    And I learned none of that from watching "Frozen." Disney gets an F on cultural enrichment for that, I guess.
  • Turkish_Delight
    4 made me lol.
    And the last one, we do the same here.
    I'd never wear my outdoor shoes in home XD
  • fernnnweh
    This was interesting. Is it true that in the same regions where the midnight sun happens, there are also periods of the year where it's only sunny for like, 4 hours?
    • Handel54

      Sometimes in the winter it can be only half an hour with sun too

  • CubsterShura
    Time to move to Norway!~
  • Saoirse_Nua
    Thank you - Very informative take
  • MissSakura
  • xhellox
    I love being norwegian.. (BRUNOST <333)
  • Adigelunar
    very good one