How to curse
like a Viking

If you’re over the age of 18 and want to fit in with your Norse beforeigner friends, this guide will have you going from skitr to bragðligt in no time at all.

Old Norse is a difficult language to understand. The closest analogue to it today is Icelandic, but even that has a lot of differences. But for all its age and complexity, it still has some pretty creative ways to curse. So without further ado, let’s get learning these important phrases that will really help you impress your friends … in the right situation, of course.

Profanities

Skítr = Excrement

Pretty much the same as its English equivalent. Use for everyday disappointment and undesirable situations.

Við hamri Þórs! = By Thor’s Hammer!

A strong curse. Use when taken by surprise, or when you need a stronger reaction.

Við dauði Þórs! = By Thor’s Death!

An even stronger curse. Use this when something shocks you so utterly, or when you’re in a lot of pain. Thor is invincible — even the description of his death in Ragnarok is set in the distant future — so invoking his death in the here and now is a strong image to call upon.

Jǫtnahreðr = Jotnar are the giants of Norse mythology, often the villains of a tale.

And hreðr means ‘penis’. This insult conjures up all manner of unsightly imagery, perfect for ugly situations.

Jǫtnadindill / Jǫtnabeytill = An even uglier version of jǫtnahreðr.

Dindill/Beytill is the word for a horse’s penis, and, well, it is a universal rule that animal body parts make a curse word thrice as vulgar.

Sorðinn / Sorðit = Sodomy

This is rather crude but straightforward. Sorðit is an exclamation like the word ‘fuck’. Sorðinn i rassinn! means ‘fuck in the ass’, and should be used when you need a stronger expression than just using sorðit alone.

Sannsorðinn / Sannsorðit = Proper sodomy

This is the same as the above, just a little stronger. You know, when entry-level sodomy won’t do.

Serð mik! = Fuck me!

To be used as in English: a modifier for all manner of strong emotions, from anger and pain, to joy and surprise.

Expressions

Við katli Ægis! = By Ægir’s pot!

Ægir was known in Norse mythology for brewing ale and mead, and invited the gods to his harvest feast every year. A great phrase to know when you are offered a free drink.

Bragðligt! = Awesome!

This expression is used when something either looks or works out well.

Allúbragðligt! = Terrible!

The opposite of the above. To be said when something is unusable or inappropriate

Drjúgum! = A lot / too much

Can be used as an exclamation like ‘Wow! Badass!’

Dugir!= Good enough

Useful when you want to say that things are going well.

Flesk fellr í kál mín = Meat fell in my cabbage!

This means you really lucked out on something. After all, who wouldn’t want surprise meat in their cabbage? Use this phrase to let people really know how lucky you feel.

Framt! = Much, far

Used as an exclamation much like ‘Great!’ or ‘Cool!’

Við hamri Þórs! = By Thor’s Hammer!

A strong curse. Use when taken by surprise, or when you need a stronger reaction.

Vel er þat! = (lit.) Good is that

For when you want to simply say something’s good.

Hamsligt! = Beautiful

When you want to say something looks nice. If using for people, remember to use hamsligr for men, and hamslig for women.