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This Norwegian Word List contains Norwegian words with their English translations. The words included here are those that you are likely to find in genealogical sources. If the word you are looking for is not on this list, please consult a Norwegian-English dictionary. (See "Additional Resources" below.)

Norwegian is a Germanic language like Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic. There are two official dialects in Norway. Prior to 1915 most Norwegian records are in a language closer to written Danish than to modern Norwegian. You may also want to refer to the Danish Genealogical Word List.

Records published after 1915, such as family and local histories, are in modern Norwegian. Most differences between modern and old Norwegian are simply a matter of spelling. Carefully study the section below on spelling. This will help you find the words in this list.

Contents

LANGUAGE CHARACTERISTICS

Variant Forms of Words

In Norwegian, as in English, the forms of some words will vary according to how they are used in a sentence. Who—whose—whom or marry—marries— married are examples of words in English with variant forms. The endings of a word in a document may differ from those in this list. For example:

Mann man Kone wife
Mannen the man Kona the wife
Menn men Koner wives
Mennene the men Konene the wives


Alphabetical Order

Written Norwegian has three letters not found in the English alphabet: Æ (æ), Ø (ø), and Å (å). In most record sources prior to 1915, Å (å) is written as Aa (aa) and filed at the beginning of the alphabet. Modern Norwegian dictionaries, indexes, the Locality section of the Family History Library Catalog, and this word list use the following alphabetical order:

a  b  c  d  e  f  g  h  i  j  k  l  m  n  o  p  q  r  s  t  u  v  w  x  y  z  æ  ø  å

A through C

Norwegian English

A



absolvere to give absolution
adel nobility
adelig noble
adelsmann nobleman
adoptert adopted
adresse address
aften evening
alder age
alderdomssvakhet weakness of old age
aldri never
alle all
alltid always
almisse charity
almisselem indigent, poor
altergang Communion
amt county
amtmann chief county administrator
andre others, other, next
anetavle pedigree chart
anfall seizure, attack
anførte entered, mentioned
ankomst arrival
anmerkning remark, notice, note
annen, annet second, another
annen gang second time
anno (Latin) year
annonsere publish, announce
antall number, count
april April
arbeider laborer
arkiv archive
arv inheritance
arvelodd share of inheritance
arving heir
astma asthma
at that
atten eighteen
attende eighteenth
attest certificate
august August
av of, at, by, from
avdeling part, division
avdød deceased
avgangen departed
avgift duty (monetary), fee
avkom offspring, issue
avtale agreement

B



bakbygning back building (additional residence behind the main building)
baker baker
bakke hill
bannlyse excommunicate
baptist Baptist
bar carried
bar barnet held child (at baptism font)
bare only
barn child
barna children
barndom childhood
barnebarn grandchild
barnedåp child baptism
barnefar child’s father
barnløs childless
barsel birth
barselfeber childbed fever
barselseng birthing bed
be pray, request
beboer occupant, resident
bededag prayer day
bedrive hor commit adultery
befolkning population, people
begge both
begivenhet event, occurrence
begravelse funeral, burial
begravet buried
behandle handle, treat, manage
bemerkning remark
ben leg, bone
benekte deny
benåde pardon
beruset drunk
besetning livestock, crew
beskrivelse description
beslektet related
bestefar grandfather
besteforeldre grandparents
bestemor grandmother
besvangre impregnate, get with child, make pregnant
betale pay
betler beggar
bevilge grant
bevis proof
bibliotek library
bind volume (book)
biografi biography
biskop bishop
bispedømme diocese
bli become
blikkenslager tinsmith
blind blind
blod blood
blodgang dysentery
blodskam incest
blodsott abnormal loss of blood during illness
bo to live at
bodde lived
bok book
bokhandler bookseller
bokholder, bokfører bookkeeper
bokstav letter, character
bolig residence, house
bonde farmer
bopel residence, domicile
borger citizen
borgermester mayor
borgerskap citizenship
bot fine, penalty
brann fire
brennevinsbrenner distiller of spirits
brev letter (correspondence)
bro bridge
bror brother
brordatter brother’s daughter
brorsønn brother’s son
brud bride
brudgom bridegroom
bruk farm, use
brygger brewer
bryllup wedding
budeie milkmaid
buskap livestock, crew
by town, city
bygd small country community, village
bygdebok rural chronicles
bygsel lease
byll abscess
byllepest plague (bubonic)
bære carry
bøkker cooper, barrel maker
både both, either
båret carried
båt boat, ship
båtbygger shipbuilder
båtsmann boatswain, bosun

C



cirka approximately
communion Communion
confirmerede confirmed
copulerede marriage

D



dag day
dagen før the previous day
dagsarbeider day laborer
dal valley
Danmark Denmark
dannekvinde gentlewoman
dannemand gentleman
dansk Danish
dato date (noun)
datter daughter
datterdatter daughter’s daughter
dattersønn daughter’s son
datum (Latin) date
dele to divide, to share
dem them, they
den the, it, that
denne this
der there
deres their
derfor therefore
desember December
det it, that, the
difteri diphtheria
din your
disse these
diverse various
dokument document
domkirke cathedral
dommer judge
dragon dragoon, light cavalryman
dreng boy
drengebarn male child
drepe kill
dronning queen
druknet drowned
dydig virtuous
to die
døbt(e) christening
død dead, death
døde died, death
dødfødt stillborn
dødsfall death
døgn 24-hour period of time
døpt baptized, christened
døtre daughters
døv deaf
døvstum deaf and dumb
dåp baptism
dåpsattest certificate of baptism
dåpsdag day of baptism

E



efter after
efterkommer descendant
efterlatte surviving, survivors
efterlevende surviving
eftermiddag afternoon
efternavn surname, last name
egen own
egentlig actual
egteviede marriage
eie, eje to own
eiendom property, real estate
ekte legitimate, to marry
ektefelle spouse
ektemann husband
ektepar married couple
ekteskap marriage
ekteskapelig marital, conjugal
ekteviet married
eldre older
eldst oldest, eldest
elev student
eller or, or else
elleve eleven
ellevte eleventh
elv river, stream
embete public office
embetsmann public official
emigrant emigrant
emigrere emigrate
en, et a, one
enebarn only child
engelsk English
England England
enhver each
enke widow
enkemann widower
enkestand widowed
ennu yet, still
epilepsi epilepsy
er is, are
erhverv livelihood
erkjenne acknowledge
et a, one
etasje floor, story
etc. (Latin) et cetera, and so on
etternavn surname, last
evne

intelligence


F



fabrikk
factory
faddere
christening witnesses, godparents
fallesyke
epilepsy
falt fall be killed in war
familie family
familie historie linage books
far father
farfar paternal grandfather
farger dyer tanner
farmor paternal grandmother
farsot pestilence, plague
fartøy vessel, craft
fattig poor
fattigvesente welfare agency
februar February
felles common, joint
fem five
femte fifth
femten fifteen
femtende fifteenth
femti fifty
femtiende fiftieth
fengsel prison
festeseddel rental contract
festning fortress
fetter
cousin (male)

Finnland
Finland

finsk
Finnish

fore
four

fisker
fisherman

fjell
mountain

fjerde
fourth

fjorten
fourteen

fjortende
fourteenth

flere
several, more

flittig
diligent

flytte move
foged, fogd bailiff, sheriff
folio page (double)
folk people
folkemengde population
folkeregister citizen register, national register
folketelling census
for, at before, by
foran in front of
forblødning bled to death
foreldre parents
foreldreløs orphan
forening society
forfedre ancestors, forefathers
forhenværende former, previous, preceding
forhus house in front (usually the main house on a farm)
forkjølet to have a cold
forklaring explanation
forlate leave, forgive
forlovelse engagement
forlovere marriage witnesses
formiddag between morning and afternoon
formynder guardian
fornavn first name, given name
forpakter manager of estate
forrige former
forstand intellect, mind
forstoppelse constipation, obstruction
forsørges supported
fortelle tell, relate
fortid past
forvalter manager
foster fetus
fosterbarn foster child
fostre foster, to rear
fra from
fraflytte leave, move away
fraværende absent
fredag Friday
fremmed foreign, foreigner
fremtid future
fru Mrs.
fruentimmer unmarried mother, female person (derogatory)
fruktsommelig pregnant
frøken Miss
full full, complete, drunk
fullmektig head clerk, agent
fylke county
fyr lighthouse
fæstebrev to acquire land
føderåd support received after giving one's estate to another
føderådskone woman recieving support
føderådsmann man receiving support
fødested birthplace
fødsel birth
fødselsattest birth certificate
fødselsdag birthday
født(e) born (birth)
følgende following, next
føllaug retired
før before
første first
førti forty
førtiende fortieth
får sheep, receives


G


gammel old
gartner gardener
garver tanner
gate street
gave gift, endowment
geistlig ecclesiastical
geografisk leksikon gazetteer
gift marriage, married, poison
gikt rheumatism
gjeld debt
gjenlevende survivors
gjennom through
gjestgiver innkeeper
gjet, gjeit goat
gjeter herdsman
gjørtler brazier, brass smith
god good
gods estate
godseier estate owner
gratis free
grav grave
graver gravedigger, sexton
gravlund cemetery
gravsted burial place
gren branch
grenader infantryman
grense boundary, border
greve Count (nobility)
grevinne Countess
grunn ground, reason
gruve mine, pit
gruvearbeider miner
grønn green
gudfar godfather
gudmor godmother
gull gold
gulsot jaundice
gulv floor
gutt boy
go, walk
gård farm
gårdbruker farmer
gårdeier farm owner
gårsdagens of yesterday

H



ha to have
hadde had
halshugget decapitated
halv half
halvbror half brother
halvsøster half sister
ham him
han he
handelsmann merchant, trader
hans his
hanskemaker glove maker
har has, have
hattemaker hatmaker
havn harbor
heller rather
helligdag holiday
hengt seg hanged himself or herself
henne her
her here
Herr Mr.
herred judicial district
Herren the Lord
hest horse
heter is named
historie history
hittebarn orphan, foundling
hjem home
hjemme at home
hjemmedøpt baptized at home
hjemmehørende residing
hjerte heart
hjertefeil heart disease
hjul wheel
hjulmaker wheelwright
holde hold, stop
horeri adultery
hos with, at
hoste cough
hovedliste census list
hun she
hundre(de) hundred (hundredth)
hus house
husar hussar, cavalryman
husbonde head of household
husholderske housekeeper
husmann cottager, tenant farmer
husmor housewife
hustru wife
hva what
hvem who
hver every
hvilken which
hvis if, whose
hvit white
hvor where
hvordan how
hvorfor why
hvorvidt whether
høsten in the fall
høy tall, high, hay
høyre right (side)
håndarbeide handwork
håndtering occupation
håndverk trade, handicraft

I



i in
idiot idiot
ifølge according to
igår yesterday
igjen again
i hjel, slå kill
ikke not
ikke enda not yet
ild fire
imellom between, among
imorgen tomorrow
infeksjon infection
ingen none
inn in
inne i inside
innerst renter, innermost
innflyttning moving in
innhold content
innsitter renter
innsjø lake
innvandring immigration
intet none
introduceret introduced
Island Iceland
islandsk Icelandic

J



januar January
jeg I
jeger light infantry soldier, hunter
jomfru damsel, Miss, virgin
jordbruk farming
jordet burial
jordmor midwife
jordpåkastelse ceremony of sprinkling earth on the coffin
jul Christmas
juli July
juni June
jurist lawyer

K



kallet named
kanskje maybe, perhaps
karet coach
kart map
katolsk Catholic
kavaleri cavalry
kemmer peddler
kikhoste whooping cough
kirke church
kirkebok parish register
kirkegård cemetery, churchyard
kirkeværge church warden
kiste chest, coffin
kjent known
kjønn sex
kjøpe buy
kjøpmann merchant
klokker sexton, parish clerk, bell ringer, deacon
kloster convent, monastery
kokarde insignia
kolikk colic
kommune municipality, township
kone wife
konfirmasjon confirmation
konge king
kongedømme kingdom
kongelig royal
kontor office
kopper smallpox, copper
kort short, card
kort register card index
krampe convulsions, spasm
kreft cancer
krig war
ku cow
kun only
kunngjøre declare
kunnskap knowledge
kusine cousin (female)
kusk coachman, teamster
kveg cattle
kvele choke
kvell evening
kvinne woman
kvinnekjønn female
kyllinger chickens
kår support received after giving one’s estate to another
kårkone woman who receives kår
kårmann man who receives

L



la let, allow
lagrettemann court member
land country
landsby village
langfredag Good Friday
laugverge widow’s guardian or spokesman
legd welfare, military levying district
legdslem welfare recipient
leie hire, rent
leier tenant
leilending leaseholder
lejermål illicit and punishable intercourse
lenge long
lensmann sheriff
lese read
leve live
levende live, living
lignende same, alike, similar
lik corpse, alike
likeledes also, as well
lille small
lite (litt) little
liten little, small
liv life
los pilot (ship)
losjerende boarder, lodger
lov law
lovlig legal
lungebetendelse pneumonia
luteraner Lutheran
lysning post banns
lysninger banns
læregutt apprentice
lærer teacher (male)
lærerinne teacher (female)
lærling apprentice
løpenummer serial number
lørdag Saturday
løsaktig loose or immoral woman
løsarbeider day laborer

M



magesyke diarrhea, stomach ailment
mai May
maler painter
mandag Monday
mange many
mann man, husband
mannkjønn male
mark field
mars March
matrikkel land registration
matros sailor
med with
medhjelper assistant, helper
medlem member
med videre (Latin) et cetera, and so on
meg me
mellom middle
mellombygning middle building
men but
mer more, additional
meslinger measles
messingsmed brazier, brass smith
mester master (of a trade)
midlertidig temporarily
midnatt midnight
mil metric mile (ten kilometers)
militær military
min mine (belongs to me)
mindre lesser
minearbeider miner
minste smallest, youngest
minutt minute
modig courageous, brave
mor mother
mord murder
morfar maternal grandfather
morgen morning
mormor maternal grandmother
motta receive
murer mason
musiker musician
m.v. (Latin) See med videre
myndig of age
møbelsnekker furniture maker
møller miller

N



nabo neighbor
nadverd Communion, sacrament
natt night
navn name
nedbrent burned down
nei no
neste next, neighbor
neste år next year
nevø nephew
ni nine
niende ninth
niese niece
nitten nineteen
nittende nineteenth
nitti ninety
nittiende ninetieth
noen some, any
nord north
november November
nu, nå now
nulevende living
null zero
nummer number
ny new
nyfødt newborn
nylig lately
nyttår new year
nær near, close
næringsvei livelihood, trade
nå, nu now
når when, if, reach

O



odel birthright or allodial ownership
ofte often
og and
oktober October
oldebarn great-grandchild
oldefar great-grandfather
oldeforeldre great-grandparents
oldemor great-grandmother
om if, about
omegn neighboring places
omtrent about, almost, nearly
omvendelse conversion
onkel uncle
onsdag Wednesday
opp up
oppe above, upstairs
oppfostre foster, to rear
residence
opptegnelse record
ordbok dictionary
ordfører mayor
oss us
osv. et cetera, and so on
over over
overlevende survivors
overtredelse transgression

P



pagina (Latin) page
pallask sword
pantebok mortgage record
parsell plot of land, allotment
parykkmaker wigmaker
penger money
pensjon pension
pensjonist retired person
person person
pest plague
pike (pige) girl, maid
pikebarn female child
pikenavn maiden name, girl’s name
pinse Pentecost
pleiebarn foster child
pleiedatter foster daughter
pleiefar foster father
pleieforeldre foster parents
pleiemor foster mother
pleiesønn foster son
pottemaker potter
preke preach
prest minister, priest
prestegjeld clerical district
prestekontor parish office
prins prince
prinsesse princess
on, at, upon
påske Easter

R



register index, register
regjering government
regning bill
regnskap account
reise travel
religion religion
repslager rope maker
rett court (noun), correct
rettferdig just, righteous
ridder knight
rik wealthy
riktig correct
rundt around
rytter cavalryman
rådmann councilman

S



sa said, stated
sabbat Sabbath
sakrament sacrament
salig deceased, holy, blessed
salmaker saddler
samfunn society
samleie intercourse
samme same
samme dag the same day
sammen together
sammesteds in the same place
samtlige all
samtykke consent
sau sheep
seg oneself
seks six
seksten sixteen
sekstende sixteenth
seksti sixty
sekstiende sixtieth
selv self
selveier owner, freeholder
selvmord suicide
senere later
seng bed
sengeliggende bedridden
separeret separated
september September
side page, side
sidehus side house
siden since, later
sin, sitt, sine his, hers, its
sinnsvak insane, retarded
sinnsyk mentally ill
siste last, latter
siste olje last rites
sjette sixth
sju (syv) seven
sjuende (syvende) seventh
sjø sea, lake
sjømann sailor, seaman
skaberak elaborate horse blanket
skal shall, must
skarlagensfeber scarlet fever
skatt tax
skibsfører ship’s captain
skifte probate
skifteprotokoll probate record book
skifteretten probate court
skilsmisse divorce
skilt divorced
skiløper infantry soldier on skis, skier
skjedde happened
skjøte deed (property)
skog forest
skole school
skomaker shoemaker
skredder tailor
skriver scribe
skulle should
slag strike, blow, stroke
slakter butcher
slekt relatives, family, lineage
slektninger relatives
slektsforskning genealogy
slektshistorie family history, lineage books
slektsvåpen coat of arms
slå ihjel kill
smed smith
snart soon
snekker cabinetmaker, carpenter
sogn parish
soldat soldier
sorenskriver magistrate, probate judge
sort black
spebarn infant, baby
spillemann musician, fiddler
stabbur storehouse on pillars
stamtavle descendancy chart
stand social position
stebarn stepchild
stebror stepbrother
sted place
stedatter stepdaughter
stefar stepfather
steinhogger stonecutter
stemor stepmother
stesønn stepson
stilling status, position, office
stor large
straff punishment
straks right away, immediately
stum mute (can’t speak)
summa (Latin) totals
summarisk statistical, summary
svak weak
svakhet weakness
svart black
svenn journeyman
svensk Swedish
Sverige Sweden
svigerdatter daughter-in-law
svigerfar father-in-law
svigerinne sister-in-law
svigermor mother-in-law
svigersønn son-in-law
svoger brother-in-law
svulst tumor
syd south
sydlig southern
syerske seamstress
syk sick
sykdom disease
sypike seamstress
sytten seventeen
syttende seventeenth
sytti seventy
syttiende seventieth
syv (sju) seven
syvende (sjuende) seventh
sølv silver
søndag Sunday
sønn son
sønnedatter son’s daughter
sønnesøn son’s son
sør south
søsken siblings
søster sister
søstersønn sister’s son
saw (see), so, if so, sow (seed)
sådan such
således thus, in this or that

T



tak roof
takk thank you
takksigelse thanksgiving
tall number, count
tambur drummer (soldier)
tante aunt
testamente last will
ti ten
tid time
tidlig early
tidsperiode period of time
tidsskrift periodical
tiende tenth, tithing
tigger beggar
til to, until, for
tillatelse dispensation, permission
time hour
tippoldefar great-great-grandfather
tippoldemor great-great-grandmother
tirsdag Tuesday
tittel title
tjene serve, work
tjeneste service
tjenestedreng servant, employee, male
tjenestepige servant, employee, female
tjue (tyve) twenty
tjueannen twenty-second
tjueen twenty-one
tjuefem twenty-five
tjuefire twenty-four
tjuefjerde twenty-fourth
tjueførste twenty-first
tjuende (tyvende) twentieth
tjueni(ende) twenty-nine (twenty-ninth)
tjueseks twenty-six
tjuesjette twenty-sixth
tjuesju(ende) twenty-seven(th)
tjuetemte twenty-fifth
tjueto twenty-two
tjuetre(dje) twenty-three (twenty-third)
tjueåtte(nde) twenty-eight (twenty-eighth)
to two
tohundre two hundred
tollbetjent customs officer
tolv twelve
tolvte twelfth
torsdag Thursday
tre three
tredevte (trettiende) thirtieth
tredje third
tredve (tretti) thirty
tretten(de) thirteen (thirteenth)
trettien(de) thirty-one (thirty-first)
trettiførste thirty-first
trolovelse engagement
trolovet engaged
trosbekjennelse creed
trossamfunn religion
tuberkulose consumption, tuberculosis
tukthus prison
tusen(de) thousand(th)
tvangsarbeide hard labor, compulsory labor
tvilling twin
tyfus typhoid fever
tysk German
Tyskland Germany
tyv thief
tyve (tjue) twenty
tyvende (tjvende) twentieth
tæring tuberculosis
tømmermann carpenter, framer, ship’s carpenter
tønne barrel

U



udøpt unbaptized
uekte illegitimate
ugift unmarried
uke week
ukjent unknown, foreign
ulovlig illegal
ulykke accident
umoralsk immoral
umyndig under legal age
under under, below
underholde support
underskrevne the undersigned
underskrift signature
undertegnet signed
ung young
ungkarl bachelor
unntatt except
uskyldig innocent
ussel miserable, poor
usømmelig indecent
utdrag extract
uten without
utenfor outside of
utfattog destitute, penniless
utflyttning moving out
utføre perform, do
utgi publish
uti at, in
utlagt named as, alleged
utlandet foreign country
utukt lechery, fornication
utvandre emigrate
utvandrer emigrant
utvandring emigration

V



vaccinerede vaccination
vaksinert vaccination, vaccinated
vanfør crippled, disabled
vanskapt deformed, handicapped
var was, were
vattersot dropsy
ved at, by
vedkommende person concerned
ved siden av next to
velstand prosperity
venn friend
venstre left (side)
verge guardian
verneplikt military duty
vertshus inn
vest west
vever weaver
vielse marriage, wedding
vielsesattest marriage certificate
viet married
vitne witness
vitnesbyrd testimony
vogn carriage, wagon, vehicle
vognmann coachman
voldta rape
værdig worthy
være be
vår our
våren in the spring

Y



yngre younger
yngst youngest
yrke profession

Æ



ærbødig respectful
ære honor
ærlig honest
ættegransking genealogy

Ø



øde desolate, waste
ødelegge destroy
ødemark wasteland, wilderness
ønske wish, desire, want
øre ear
øst east
øvre upper
øy island
øye, øie eye

Å



ånd spirit
åndsvak mentally deficient
år year
århundre century
årlig annual, yearly
årsak cause, reason
åsted where event took place (place of event)
åtte eight
åttende eighth
åtti eighty
åttiede eightieth




ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

This word list includes only words most commonly found in genealogical sources. For further help, use a Norwegian-English dictionary. Several Norwegian-English dictionaries are available at the Family History Library. These are in the Scandinavian collection. Their call numbers begin with 439.82321. Family History Centers can obtain the following dictionaries on microfilm:

Scavenius, H. Glydendals Ordbøker; Norsk-Engelsk [Gyldendal’s Dictionaries; Norwegian-English]. Oslo, Norway: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1945. (FHL film 1,224,705, item 4).

cavenius, H. Glydendals Ordbøker; Engelsk-Norsk [Glydendal’s Dictionaries; English-Norwegian]. Oslo, Norway: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1945. (FHL film 1,224,705, item 3).

Additional dictionaries are listed in the Subject section of the Family History Library Catalog under NORWEGIAN LANGUAGE - DICTIONARIES and in the Locality section under NORWAY - LANGUAGE AND LANGUAGES.

KEY WORDS

In order to find and use specific types of Norwegian records, you will need to know some key words in Norwegian. This section lists key genealogical terms in English and the Norwegian words with the same or similar meanings.

For example, in the first column you will find the English word marriage. In the second column you will find Norwegian words with meanings such as marry, marriage, wedding, wedlock, unite, legitimate, joined, and other words used in Norwegian records to indicate marriage.

English Norwegian
banns lysninger
birth
fødte, født
burial
begravelse, jordet
census folketelling
child
barn
christening døbte, døbt
clerical district prestegjeld
confirmation
konfirmasjon, konfirmerede
death døde, død
engagement forlovelse, trolovelse
father far
female kvinnekjønn
husband ektemann
index register
male mannkjønn
marriage copulerede, egteviede, gift, vielse
military militær
mother mor
moving in innflyttning
moving out utflyttning
name, given fornavn
name, surname
etternavn
parents foreldre
parish sogn
probate skifte
vaccination vaccinerede, vaksinert
wife hustru
year år

 

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