Uffda is a well-known Norwegian explicit word, but is often applied wrongly, depending on the situation. Short of swearing, there are many interesting phrases uttered by frustrated Norwegians. I recall back in 1994 when a Canadian TV journalist reported from the Lillehammer Olympics, that a popular Norwegian swear was morra di skøyter som ei ku! It translates to your mother skates like a cow! Being born and raised in Norway I must admit that I had not heard this expression – ever! My twin brother and I frequented many unsavory places in Oslo including the docks, but never heard any stevedore using those words either.
The following is a quick insight into colloquial Norwegian:
Norwegian mild explicit 101; our mother was a devout Lutheran and we were not allowed to swear, but there were other exclamations that were in use in our house, depending on the situation. For example, my twin brother and I would make a statement that was obviously not true; our mother would look at us sternly and say,”tull ball,” which is directly translated to nonsense ball! Or equal to our English expression of “nonsense.” Believe me, between my twin brother and I, there was a lot of tull ball going on in our household!
Another Norwegian mild explicit phrase often used when receiving some surprise scuttlebutt would be gå ta banen. It means get off the field. We wouldn’t say that in English, but it would be similar to “get out of here!” A perfectly safe expression, it will not offend or upset anybody. This was our older brother Moritz’s favourite expression, at least at home. My twin brother and I would conjure up some tull ball about Moritz’s current girlfriend, and he would look at us with an astonished expression, and when he figured us out, which wasn’t often, he would say gå ta banen; questioning the validity of our tull ball.
The Norwegian explicit phrase most often used by women is fy flate! Directly translated to “fie flat” but “fie” is old English and not in use in these modern days, so after some online research I found the meaning to be the same as our English expression of “nelly!” It was often used by our female grade school teacher who we had to address as Frøken (Miss), the proper salutation to a female teacher, even though she was married. That confused us twins a bit so sometimes we addressed her as Fru Frøken (Mrs. Miss). In any event, some times when either my twin brother or I would be requested to present our homework, which we had neglected to do, we would tell her some tull ball explaining why it wasn’t done. She would shake her head and say fy flate! And we had to promise her that any outstanding homework would be properly done and presented to her first thing the next day.
A real interesting Norwegian explicit phrase is hæren fløtte meg! This expression is just one step below swearing, and it translates to “the army move me!” It is normally used to express anger at somebody or something, like our English “friggin.” For example, nå må du hæren fløtte meg ta deg sammen, which would be like our English expression of “now get a friggin grip!” This expression was often used by our high school teachers. One teacher was a retired Lutheran pastor who taught religion, because at the time the Lutheran Church was governed by the Norwegian Parliament, and religion was part of the curriculum and not an optional course. This particular teacher would always sit down at the start of the class and bang his hands on the desk, while kicking the inside of the foot well. On one occasion I had taken some of the framed glass covered prints off the classroom walls, and placed them inside the foot well. Of course the glass broke and we all laughed, causing the teacher to roar, nå må dere hæren fløtte meg ta dere sammen! “Now get a friggin grip, all of you!”
I recall our dad using the same expression one time when he picked us twins up from Sunday school. We had placed thumb tacks and small water puddles on alternate chairs, creating a great commotion and disturbance when the other kids sat down, causing the lady in charge to cry in frustration and call our dad. When he got us seated in the back seat of the car, he lowered his bushy eyebrows, glowering at us and sternly said, “nå må dere hæren fløtte meg ta dere sammen!” “Now get a friggin grip! Both of you!”
An “approved” Sons of Norway explicit is yumpin lutefisk! Following are a few examples on the use of it:
A Swedish doctor told his patient: "It's very important that you take this medicine exactly 30 minutes before you feel the pain." Yumpin lutefisk!
A Norwegian brought his binoculars to a funeral where they were going to bury a distant relative of his. Yumpin lutefisk!
Did you ever hear about the Norwegian who was asked if he had lived in Bergen all his life? "Not yet," he answered. Yumpin lutefisk!
Nå tuller du! translates to “you’re kidding!” The following is a true story about a nice young Norwegian girl applying for a job as a secretary at the Norwegian Consulate in Vancouver. She was interviewed by the office manager who asked her: "Do you have any religious views?" "No," said the girl, "but I've got some nice pictures of Norway!" Nå tuller du!