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Norwegian - English Dictionary

As you search through Norwegian bygdebøker, census records, etc., looking for your ancestors, you will find many words that are not listed in your Norwegian - English dictionary. These words are often related to agriculture or are words that have not been used in Norway for a long time. I have therefore prepared this brief dictionary which you can use as a supplement to your Norwegian - English dictionary. (This is not a complete dictionary -- it is only meant as a supplement to a regular Norwegian - English dictionary). I would highly recommend that you purchase Einar Haugen's "Norwegian- English Dictionary". You can order this book either through your local bookstore or from the Ancestors from Norway bookstore (operated in association with

The first section of this dictionary shows various old measurements. Feel free to print out a copy of this page for your own personal use. (When printed out, this page is approximately 65 pages long).


Old measurements:

1 laup = 3 bismarkpund = 72 merker = 
18 kilograms of butter or 
2 våger (36 kilograms) of fish
1 lodd = 14.6246 grams
1 mark = 250 grams
månadsmatabol = food for 1 day for 1 man for 1 month
1 pund (Bismarkpund) = 6 kilograms
Note: this is not the same as an American pound!
1 spann = literally one bucket
1 spann of butter = 15 kilograms of butter
1 spann of grain = 9 kilograms of grain
1 spann = 3 øre = 24 marklag 
1 våger = 18 kilograms

Old currencies:

1 rigsdaler = 4 ort = 96 skilling
1 rigsbankdalar = 96 skilling
1 krone = 1/4 speciedaler = 1/8 mark (silver)


English translation:

symbol used in many bygdebøker to indicate marriage
  symbol used in many bygdebøker to indicate death 

Click on the first letter of the word you wish to look up, or scroll down the page. Words in Nynorsk are marked (nn).

[ 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 ]


aar year (archaic for "år")

absolvere to give absolution

absolusjon absolution (religious)

adel nobility

adelig noble

adelsmann nobleman

adlet to be raised to the nobility

adoptere to adopt

adresse address

advare to caution

advokat lawyer, solicitor (UK)

af  of/by/at/from (archaic)

aften evening

afgange deceased (archaic)

agent sales agent, sales representative for a company

agentur sales agency

agronom graduate of an agricultural college

ald.  abbreviation for "alder" - age

alder age

alderdom old age

alderdomssvakhet  weakness of old age

aldri never

alle all

allmenning forest or grazing land that several farms have the right to 

access and use.  The land may be public or privately owned.

alltid always

alter alter

altergang holy communion

almisse charity

amanuens assistant

amme to nurse

amt administrative district/county.  (archaic) Since 1918 the 

word "fylke" has been used.

amtmann highest ranking administrator in an "amt" (county) (archaic)

anden second (archaic) 

andre 1) second, 2) other

ane/aner ancestor/ancestors

anetavle table of ancestors/family tree

anfall seizure

ankomst arrival

anmerkning remark, note

annen gang second time

anno (Latin) year 

annonsere announse, publish

antall number, count

apostelgods land that originally belonged to the Apostel church in Bergen 

and leased out to farmers 

apotek pharmacy

apoteker pharmacist

arbeide work

arbeider worker

arkitekt architect

arkiv archive

arm 1) poor, 2) arm 

armod poverty, poverty-stricken

arv inheritance

arveavgift inheritance tax

arvegods hereditary estate, heirloom

arvejord inherited land

arvelodd heir's share in a probate estate

arveløs disinherited, without rights of inheritance

arvesak probate proceeding

arveskifte distribution of probate estate

arveskatt inheritance tax

arvestykke heirloom

arving heir

arvtagere heirs

assessor assistant judge (archaic)

at that

att (nn) again

atten eighteen

attende 1) back, 2) eighteenth

attest certificate, testimonial

audn/audne abandoned farm (frequently used as name of a farm that was

abandoned during the Black Death)

auk.  abbreviation for "auksjon"  

auksjon auction

auksjonsprotokoll auction records

av of, by, at, from

avdeling part, division, department

avdelingssjef department manager

avdød deceased

avgang 1) death, demise, 2) departure

avgift duty, fee

avgå retire

avhandling thesis, dissertation

avkom offspring, issue

avling harvest

avmønstre to sign off (maritime use)

avsked, få be discharged

avsked, ta retire

avskjed i nåde retire

avtale agreement

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b.  abbreviation for "barn" - children

bg.  abbreviation for "bondegods" - land owned by the farmers themselves, 

not by the king or the church

Bg./Ber.  abbreviation for "Bergen" - city on the southwest coast of Norway

br.  abbreviation for "bruk" - farm. (Note: Norwegian farms were usually 

subdivided over the centuries into smaller "bruk". Each of these "bruk" were 

numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Many "bruk" were only about 5 to 15 acres in size)

br.  abbreviation for "bruker" (also spelled "brukar")  - farmer

br. heile g.  abbreviation for "bruker heile gården" - used the whole farm 

bs.  abbreviation for "busett" - settled, residing in

baaret carried (archaic)

bage bake (archaic)

bager baker (archaic)

bagermester master baker (master in the bakers guild) (archaic)

bake bake

baker baker

bakermester master baker (master in the bakers guild)

bakke hill

bank bank

banksjef bank manager

bankfunksjonær bank clerk

bannlyse excommunicate

bar carried

bar barnet held child at baptism

bare only

bark bark/barque (type of vessel)

barn child/children

barn u.e. ("uekte") illegitimate child, child born out of wedlock

barna children

barndom childhood

barnesykdom childhood disease

barneårene childhood

barnebarn grandchild/grandchildren

barnebarnsbarn great-grandchild

barnlaus (nn) childless

barnløs childless

barnseng (dø i)  (die in) childbirth

barsel confined to bed

barselfeber puerperal fever, child-bed fever

barskog coniferous forest (fir and spruce) 

be pray

bebodde inhabited

beboer occupant, resident

bededag prayer day

bedrive hor commit adultery

befolkning population

begavet gifted

begge both

begivenhet occurrence, event

begrave bury

begravelse burial

begravet buried

behandle handle, treat, manage

bemerkning remark

ben 1) leg, 2) bone

benekte deny

benåde pardon

besetning livestock, crew

besittelse possession

beskrivelse description

beslekted related 

bestefar grandfather

besteforeldre grandparents

bestemor grandmother

besøk visit

besøkende visitor

betale pay

betalte paid

betjent servant

bevilge grant, permission

bevilgning grant, permission

bevis proof

bg.  abbreviation for "bondegods" 

bibliotek library

bibliotekar librarian

bind volume

biologisk (far, sønn, etc.)  blood-, biological father, son, etc.

biografi biography

biografisk biographical

bisette read the funeral sermon

bisettelse funeral service

biskop bishop

bispedømme diocese

blandkorn mixture of two types of grain, usually oats and barley 

blei (nn) became

bli  become

blikkenslager tinsmith

blind blind

blod blood

blodgang dysentary

blodskam incest

bo 1) probate estate, 2) in placenames it means farm, 3) to live at

boede lived, resided (archaic)

bodde lived, resided 

bodelning distribution of probate estate

bok book

bokbinder bookbinder

bokhandler bookseller

bokstav letter in the alphabet

bolig residence, domicile

bonde farmer

bondegods land owned by the farmers themselves, not by the king or 

the church

bopel residence, domicile

bopæl residence, domicile (archaic)

borger resident of a city (from German "burgher") who had permission to 

engage in a profession or trade

borgerbok listing of all persons in a city who had permission to engage in 

a profession or trade.  See "borger"

borgerlig ekteskap civil marriage

borgermester mayor

borgerskap citizenship

born (nn) child

bosatt to live

bosette seg to settle

bosted place of residence

bot fine

brann fire

brannmann  fireman

brannmester fire company officer

braut broke

brev letter, correspondence

bro bridge

broder brother (archaic)

brodersøn brother's son (archaic)

bror brother

brordatter brother's daughter

brorsønn brother's sønn

brud bride

brudgom bridegroom

brudesvenn sponsor of bride

br. abbreviation for "bruk"

bruk farm

brukar (nn) 1) tiller, tenant farmer, 2) user of a farm 

bruker 1) tiller, tenant farmer, 2) user of a farm

bruket the farm

bruksnummer farm number

brygger brewer

bryggeri brewery

bryllup wedding

brødre brothers

budeie milkmaid

bukk male goats

bukker male goats

bukse pants

bunad Norwegian national costume

bur 1) lives (nn), 2) cage

bumerke branding mark, branding iron

busett settled, residing in

buskap live stock

butikk shop/store

by town/city

bygd small rural village or community

bygdebok Norwegian local history book with genealogy information

bygg barley

bygge to build 

bygget buildt

bygning building

bygsla leased land

bygsle to lease land 

bygslet leased land

bygsel agreement for leasing land

byrå department

bødker cooper, barrel maker

børn children (archaic)

bøtelagt to have been fined

bære to carry

båd boat (archaic)

båret carried

båt boat, ship

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circa approximately

civilstand marital status (archaic)

confirmerede confirmed (archaic)

copulerede married (archaic)

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d. abbreviation for "døde" - died

d.e. abbreviation for "den eldre" - the older 

d.y. abbreviation for "den yngre" - the younger

d.s.s. abbreviation for "det samme som" -- the same as 

dl. abbreviation for "dalar" - old currency

da then, when

daab baptism (archaic. see dåp)

daap baptism (archaic. see dåp)

dag day

dagen før the day before

dagarbeider day laborer

dagsarbeider day laborer

dal valley

dalar old currency

dampskib steamship (archaic)

dannekvinde gentlewoman

dannemand gentleman

dansk Danish

datere to date

dato date

datter daughter

datterdatter grandaughter (daughter's daughter)

dattersønn grandson (daughter's son)

datum (Latin) date

de they, those, the

degn parish clerk

deira (nn) their

dele partion, divide

deling partitioning, dividing

delt partitioned/divided

delvis partially

dem them, they

den the, it, that

denne this

der there

deres their

derfor therefor

det it, the, that

difteri diphtheria

dimmitert discharged from military service

din yours

direktør manager, director

disse these

distrikt district

distriktsjef district manager

diverse various, miscellaneous

docent reader (UK), associate professor (US)

doktor medical doctor

dokument document

dom judgment

domkirke cathedral

dommer judge

domprost cathedral dean

domstol court of law

dotter (nn) daughter 

dra 1) to travel, 2)to pull 

dragon dragoon, light infantryman

dreng 1) young male servant, 2) boy

drengebarn male child

drev ran, operated

drive run, operate

drukne drown

druknet drowned

dydig virtuous

dyr 1) animal, 2) expensive

dyrlege veterinarian

 to die

dø ut die out

døde died

døde etter died after

døde før died before

dødfødt stillborn

dødsbo estate of a deceased person

dødsdato date of death

dødsfall death

dødsår year of death

døgn day (24 hour period of time)

dømt sentenced (judicial)

døbe baptise (archaic)

døbenavn christian name (archaic)

døbt baptized (archaic)

døpe baptise

døpenavn christian name

døpt baptized, named

døtre daughters

døv deaf

døvstum deaf and dumb

døyde (nn) died

døype (nn) baptize

dåp baptism

dåpsattest certificate of baptism

dåpsdag baptismal day

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efter after

efterkommer descendant

efterkommere descendants

efterlatte survivors

efterlevende survivors

eftermiddag afternoon

efternavn surname, last name

efterslektstavle table of descendants

egen own (his own, her own, etc.)

egentlig actually

eie to own

eiendom property, estate

eiendomsdeling distribution of property in probate

eige (nn) to own

eigelut (nn) possession (of things)

eigendom (nn) property, estate

eje to own

ekspeditør clerk, shop assistant

ekstraskatt supplementary tax 

ekstraskattemanntall census type listing of those paying supplementary tax

ekte 1) legitimate, 2) to marry

ektefelle spouse

ektepar married couple

ekteskap marriage

ekteskapelig marital, conjugal

ekteviet married

eldre older

eldst oldest

eldste oldest

eller or

elleve eleven

ellevte eleventh

elv river

embete public office

embetsmann  senior civil servant or clergy member

embetsmannsarkivet archive of senior civil servants and state clergy

emigrant emigrant

emigrantprotokoller records maintained by the police in main seaports

 of those who emigrated through the seaport

emigrasjon emigration

emigrere emigrate

en one

ene alone

enebarn only child

eng grassland/meadow

engelsk English

engelsk syke rickets

enhver each

enke widow

enkemann widower

enkestand widowed

enkja (nn) widow

enkje (nn) widow

enkjemann (nn) widower

ennu still, yet

enslig single

entall singular

epilepsi epilepsy

er am, is, are

erhverv livelihood

erkjenne acknowledge

erter peas

et a, one

etasje floor, story

etnisitet ethnicity

ett one

etter after

etterfølger successor

etterfølgere successors

evne intelligence

examen degree (akademic)/certificate

examen artium degree from senior high school 

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f.  abbreviation for "fødd" - born

fabrikk factory

fader father (archaic)

fadder godfather, godmother, sponsor

faderskap paternity

fallesyke epilepsy

falt fell

fam. abbreviation for "familie" - family

fam. still.  abbreviation for "familie stilling" - position in familiy

familie family

familie historie genealogy lineage book

familienavn family name, surname

familiestilling  position in the family

fange prisoner

far father

farbror father's brother, uncle

farfar paternal grandfather

farger dyer

farmasøyt pharmacist

farmor paternal grandmother

farskap paternity

farsot pestilence, plague

fartøy vessel, craft

farver dyer 

faste fast

fastelavn shrovetide

faster aunt (father's sister)

fattig poor

fattighus poor-house

fattiglem pauper

fattiggutt poor boy

fedre fathers

felles common, joint

fem five

femte fifth

femten fifteen

femtende fifteenth

femti fifty

femtiende fiftieth

fengsel prison

fenrik ensign (1700's), second lieutenant (modern)

festning fortress

fetter male cousin

fikk received

finne 1) to find 2) person from Finland

finnsk  person from Finland

fire four

firmenning third cousin

fisk fish

fisker fisherman

fjell mountain

fjerde fourth

fjorten fourteen

fjortende fourteenth

flere several more

flittig diligent

flytte move

flytte fra move away from

flytte til move to

flyttningsregister migration register

fogd bailiff, bailiwick (archaic) 

fogderegnskap bailiff records, bailiwick records (archaic)

fogderi administrative unit (archaic)

foged see "fogd" (archaic)

folk people

folkeregister register of people

folkehøyskole "folk high-school", "people's college"

folketelling census of all persons, male and female. Cf. "manntall"

folkekirken state church

for for, at, before, by

foran in front of

forblødning bled to death

forbrytelse crime

foreldre parents

foreldreløs orphan

forening association, society

forettning shop

forettningsmann shopowner

forfatter author

forfedre ancestors, forefathers

forgjenger predecessor

forhenværende former, previous, preceding

forklaring explanation

forlate 1) leave, abandon, 2) forgive

forlove engage to

forlovelse engagement

forlover sponsor, best man

formiddag morning

formann foreman, supervisor

formynder guardian

formue assets

fornavn first name

forpakter tenant farmer, one who leases the right to cultivate a farm 

forrige former

fostand intellect, mind

forsikring insurance

forsikringspremie insurance premium

forsiktig careful

forsiktige careful

forskning research

forsørge to provide for, support 

forsørges av supported by

fortid past

forvalter manager

forældre parents (archaic - see "foreldre")

fosterb. abbreviation for "fosterbarn" - fosterchild

fosterd. abbreviation for "fosterdatter" - fosterdaughter

fosters. abbreviation for "fostersønn" - fosterson

fosterbarn fosterchild

fosterfar fosterfather

fostermor fostermother

fosterbror fosterbrother

fosterson (nn) fosterson

fostersønn fosterson

fostersøster fostersister

fostre foster, raise

fotograf photographer

fotografi  photograph

fra from

fraflytte leave, move away

fragtbeløp cost of ticket, freight charge

fram forward

fraskille separate property 

fraskilt jord separated/subdivided property

fraværende absent

fredag Friday

frem forward

fremstående prominent

fremmed 1) stranger, foreigner, 2) foreign

fremtid future

fritid free time

fritidsintresse hobby

frivillig volunteer

fru salutation used in letters. Equivalent to Mrs.

frue wife

fruktsommelig pregnant

frøken unmarried woman, miss

frå (nn) from 

fulde full (archaic)

full 1) full, complete, 2) drunk

fullmakt power of attorney, authorization

fullmektig head clerk, agent

fylke county

fyr lighthouse

fyrste (nn) first

fædre fathers, paternal ancestors (archaic)

fædrene fathers, paternal ancestors (archaic)

fætter male cousin (archaic - see "fetter")

fødd born 

føderåd support received after giving one's estate to one's successor.  Also 

called "kaar"/"kår"

føderådskone woman receiving føderåd

føderådsmann man receiving føderåd

fødesogn native parish 

fødested place of birth

fødsel birth

fødselsattest birth certificate

fødselsdato date of birth

fødselsdag birthday

fødselsregister register of births

fødselsår year of birth

født born

født utenom ektenskap born out of wedlock

føl (nn) foal

føll foal

følgende following

før before, previously

første first

ført recorded

førti fourty

førtiende fourtieth

 to receive

får 1) sheep, 2) receives

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g.  abbreviation for "gård" or "gift", depending on context

g.m.  abbreviation for "gift med"

gaard farm (archaic - see "gård")

gaardbruker farmer (archaic - see "gårdbruker")

gaardsmann farmer (archaic - see gårdsmann")

gaardsnavn farm name (archaic - see "gårdsnavn")

gaardsnummer farm number (archaic - see "gårdsnummer")

gard (nn) farm

gallfeber jaundice

gade street (arcahic)

gammel old

gammelt old

gamle the old

gartner gardener

garver tanner 

gate street

gave gift

geistelig ecclesiastical, of or pertaining to the church

geit goat

geiter goats

generasjon generation

gift married

gift m.   abbreviation for "gift med" - married to

gift 2. gang m.   married second time to   

gift med married to

giftarmål (nn) marriage

gikk walked

gikt arthritis, rheumatism

gjeit goat

gjeld debt

gjenlevende survivors

gjennom through

gjestgiver innkeeper

gjet goat

gjeter herdsman

god good

gods estate/property

godseier owner of a large estate 

grav grave

grave to dig

gravlagt buried

gravlegge to bury

gravlund cemetery 

gravsten gravestone

gren branch

grenader infantryman

grend rural neighborhood/area

greve count

grevinne countess

gris pig

grossist wholesaler

grube mine

grubearbeider miner

grunn reason, ground

grønn green 

Gud God

gudfar godfather

gudmor godmother

gull gold

gulsott jaundice

gulv floor

gutt boy

gymnas senior high school

gymnasiast  student in senior high school

 to walk

gård farm

gårdbruker farmer

gårdeier farm owner

gårdsdagens of yesterday

gårdsnavn name of farm

gårdsnummer farm number

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hpg. abbreviation for "hospitalgods" - land belonging to a hospital and 

leased out to farmers 

hr. abbreviation for "Herr"

ha have, possess

hadde had, possessed

halv half

halvbror half-brother 

halvsøsken half-brother(s) and/or half-sister(s)

halvsøster half-sister

ham him

hamn port

han he 

handel trade

handelsbetjent shop assistant

handelshøyskole college of economics and business administration

handelsmann merchant, trader

hans his

har has, have

hatt hat

hattemaker hatmaker

havde had, possessed (archaic - see "hadde")

havn port, harbor

havre oats

heile (nn) whole/entire

heim (nn) home

heime (nn) at home

hele whole, entire

heller rather

hellig holy 

helligday holiday

hendes hers (archaic)

henne her

hennar (nn) hers

hennes hers

her here

herad municipality and judicial district (archaic - now called "kommune")

heradsrett district court

heradsskrivere district taxation registrar

herkomst ancestry

Herr salutation used in letters.  Equivalent to Mr.

herred municipality and judicial district (archaic - now called "kommune")

herregård mansion/estate

Herren God, the Lord

hest horse

hester horses

heter is named

hi (nn) the other

hittebarn orphan

hjelpe help, assist

hjelper help, assist

hjem home

hjemme at home

hjemmedøpt baptized at home

hjemmehørende residing

hjemmet the home

hjerne brain

hjerneblødning stroke, cerebral hemorrhage

hjerneslag stroke

hjernesvulst brain tumor

hjerte heart

hjertefeil heart disease

hjerteinfarkt heart attack, myocardial infarction

hjertesvikt heartfailure

hjem home

hjemsted place of residence

hjo (nn) at

hjul wheel

hjulmaker wheelwright

hjælper help, assist (archaic - see "hjelper")

hjå (nn) at, with

holde hold

hor adultery

hos at, with

hoste caugh

hospital hospital

hovedliste census list

hud 1) cow hide 2) tax on land was often measured in terms of 

number of hides

hun her

hundre hundred

hus house

husar cavalryman

husdyr farm animals, e.g. cattle, horses, etc.

huset the house

huslyd a family unit living together in a house 

hussar cavalryman

husbonde male head of household on a farm

hushjelp housemaid

husholderske housekeeper

husholdning household

husholdninger households

husmann crofter, person who rented a house with or without a small plot  of 

 land on a larger farm. Rent was paid by doing part time work for the farmer

husmann m. j.  abbreviation for "husmann med jord"

husmann med jord  person who rented a house with small plot of land on a 

larger farm

husmann u. j.  abbreviation for "husmann uten jord"

husmann uten jord person who rented a house without any land on a 

larger farm

husmannsseddel written contract between husmann and the farmer that 

he rented from

husmor housewife

hustand household

hustru wife

hva what

hvad what (archaic)

hvem who

hver every

hvilken which

hvis if, whose

hvit white

hvor where

hvordan how

hvorfor why

hvorvidt whether

høj 1) tall, high, 2) hay (archaic)

højde height (archaic)

høst fall (the season)

høy 1) tall, high, 2) hay

høyde height

høyre right (as in right hand)

hånd hand

håndarbeide handwork

håndverk occupation, trade

håndverkssvenn journeyman 

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ikr. abbreveation for "ikring" - about, approximately

i in, within

i går yesterday

ibid same place (archaic)

ikje (nn) not

ikke not

ikring (nn) about, approximately

ild fire

ildebrann accidental fire

imellom in between, among

immigrere immigrate

imorgen tomorrow

indre inner (as oppposed to outer)

infeksjon infection

incest incest

inderste lodger on a farm

ingen none

ingeniør engineer

inn in

inne i inside

innerst lodger on a farm

innflytte move into, immigrate

innflytning moved into, immigrated

innrullere enlist (military)

innsjø lake

innvandre immigrate

innvandring immigration

intet none

Island Iceland

islandsk Icelandic

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jfr. abbreviation for "jamfor" - compare with, see

jagt hunt

jamfør see, compare to 

jamgodt (nn) equivalent to

jamstore (nn) equally large

jeg me

jeger 1) hunter, 2) light infantry soldier

jevnførelsesliste index, cross-reference in church records

jomfru damsel, Miss

jonsok midsummer day

jord soil, land

jordarbeider farmworker, field laborer

jordbok land register, real estate register

jordbruk farming

jordbruksområde areas for farming

jordbøkene land registers, real estate registers

jorddrott landlord

jordeier owner of land

jordet buried

jordfeste funeral service

jordmor midwife

jordskatten 1802 land tax of 1802

jordskyld rental fee for renting land

journalist journalist

jul Christmas

jur. dr. LL.D., Doctor of laws

jurist lawyer

jus law

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k. abbreviation for "kone" - wife, or "kvinne" - woman

kj.abbreviation for "kjønn" sex/gender

krg. abbreviation for "krungods" - land belonging to the king and leased 

out to farmers

krung. abbreviation for "krungods" - land belonging to the king and leased 

out to farmers

kadett cadet (army), midshipman (navy)

kalde call, name

kaldet called, named

kalle call, name

kalle opp etter  to name after

kallet named

kanskje perhaps

kapell chapel

kapellan curate, cleric who assists the priest, deacon

kaptein captain

karakter grade, marks

katedral cathedral

katolsk Catholic

kavaleri cavalry

kikhoste whooping cough

kilde source

kirke church

kirkebok church register of birhts, marriages, etc.

kirkegods land belonging to the church and leased out to farmers

kirkegård cemetary

kirurg surgeon

kirurgi surgery

kiste chest, coffin

kj. abbreviation for "kjønn" sex/gender

kje kid, young goat

kjent known

kjevhendt left-handed

kjole dress

kjønn sex/gender

kjøpe purchase, buy

kjøpmann merchant, shopkeeper

kjøpstad city/town with merchant privileges

kjøpte purchased

klart clear

klengenavn nickname

klokker parish clerk/church bell ringer

klokkerbok duplicate of the "kirkebok" maintained by the "klokker"

kloster monastery, convent

klostergods land owned by a monastary and leased out to farmers

knapp button

kokk cook

koldbrann gangrene

kolera cholera

kollega colleague

kolonialbutikk general store

kommune municipality, township

kommunikanter attendants at Holy communion

kompanjon business partner

konditori pastry-shop

konduktør railway conductor

kone wife

konferer compare 

konfirmasjon confirmation (religious)

konfirmere confirmed (religious)

konge king

kongelig royal

konkurs bankruptcy

konsulent consultant 

kontingent contingent

kontor office

kontrakt contract

koppeattest smallpox vaccination certificate 

koppeinnpodning inoculation with the smallpox vaccine

kopper 1) smallpox, 2) copper

korporal corporal

kreatur cattle, live stock

kreaturstell caring for cattle, live stock

kreft cancer

kreve demand

krevde demanded

krig war

krigen the war

krigsfange prisoner of war

kristna (nn) baptized

kristne (nn) to baptize

krungods land belonging to the king and leased out to farmers 

krupp croup 

krøpling crippled

ku cow

kun only

kunngjøre declare

kunnskap knowledge

kusine female cousin

kveg cattle

kveite 1) halibut, 2) wheat

kvele choke

kveld evening

kvensk Norwegian minority people originally from Finland

kvindkjønn female (archaic)

kvinne woman

kvinnekjønn female

kvinner women

kværn mill

kylling chicken

kyllinger chickens

kyr cattle

kyrkje (nn) church

kyrkjegods (nn) real estate owned by the church and leased out to farmers

kyst coastline 

kystvakt coastguard

kår an allowance of food, living space, etc. (basically room and board) 

given to a farmer in his old age as a form of pension after he had given the

farm to his heir (usually the oldest son). See also "kårstova" and 

"odelsgutt" /"odelsjente".  The "kår" agreement was usually made with 

the son/daughter who took over/inherited the farm.  Also see "føderåd"

kårfolk elderly couple who is supported by kår

kårhus house on the farm where the kårfolk live

kårkone elderly woman who is being supported by kår

kårmann elderly man who is being supported by kår

kårstue house on a farm where the kårfolk live

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l. abbreviation for "laup" - old measurement

ld. abbreviation for "lodd" - old measurement

lsk. abbreviation for "landskyld" - yearly fee for leasing land

ltn. abbreviation for "løytnant" - lieutenant

la let, allow

lam lamb

land 1) country, 2) property

landet rural area

landhandel general store

landsby rural village

landsfogd county police commissioner

landskyld 1) yearly fee for leasing land, 2) real estate tax

langfredag Good Friday

laug guild

laugverge guardian

laup old measurement

lausunge child born outside wedlock (somewhat rude expression)

legd welfare, military levying district

legdslem welfare recipient

leie rent out, hire

leieboer tenant

leier tenant

leiermål fornication, sexual intercourse between unmarried persons

leilending lease holder, tenant farmer

leilænding lease holder, tenant farmer (archaic)

lejermål fornication, sexual intercourse between unmarried persons

lege physician, doctor

lenge long

lensmann sheriff, rural police officer

lese read

leve live

levende alive, living

lever av occupation, source of income

lik 1) like, 2) corpse

likeledes also

lille small

liste list

listenummer list number

lite little

liten small

litt small

liv life

lodd old measurement 1 lodd = 14.6246 grams

los ship's pilot

logerende lodger (archaic)

losjerende lodger (archaic)

losjerende, hører til fam.   lodger who is related to the family 

lov 1) law, 2) permission

lovlig permitted, legal

lovtale eulogy

lunge lungs

lungebetennelse pneumonia

lungetuberkulose pulmonary tuberculosis

lut (nn) part

lysning reading of wedding banns in church

lysninger wedding banns read in church

lærar (nn) male teacher 

lærarinne (nn) female teacher

læregutt apprentice             

lærer male teacher

lærerinne female teacher

lærling apprentice

løbenummer serial number (archaic)

løitnant lieutenant

løpenummer serial number

lørdag Saturday

løsaktig loose or immoral woman

løsarbeider day laborer, wageworker that would work at different times 

at different farms, i.e. helping with the harvest in the fall, cutting wood 

in the winter, and planting etc. in the spring

løse 1) to pay off mortgage on land, 2) to buy out co-owners of land 

løse folck  see løsarbeider

løyse (nn) 1) to pay off mortgage on land, 2) to buy out co-owners of land

løytnant lieutenant

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m. abbreviation for "mann" - man

m.a. abbreviation for "med annet" - among other things

m.v. abbreviation for "med videre" - et cetera, and so on

matr. abbreviation for "matrikkel" - land register

mk. abbreviation for "mark" - old measurement 

mmb. abbreviation for "månadsmatabol" - old measurement 

magesår ulcer

magistrat town administrator

major major

maler painter

maleri painting

mand male (archaic)

mandkjønn male (archaic)

mange many

mann 1) male, 2) husband

mannkjønn male

manntall census (of males only). Cf. "folketall"

marine navy

mark 1) field, 2) old currency

marklag old measurement

maskin engine

maskinist engineer

mat food

matr. abbreviation for "matrikkel" - land register

matrikkel written register, usually refers to the written register of 

ownership and transfers of real estate, but see "Skattematrikkel" (below) 

which refers to the tax register 

matrikkelnummer number in the land register/roll

matros sailor

mark old measurement. 1 mark = 250 grams

mavesår ulcer

med with

med videre et cetera, and so on

med. dr.  M.D., Doctor of Medicine

medbragt brought with

medeier partner/joint owner

medgift dowry

medhjelper assistant

medlem member

meg me

mejeri dairy

mekaniker mechanic

mellom middle

men but

menig soldier with rank of private 

menighet congregation

menn men

mennesker persons

mer more, additional

merker old measurement

merknad comments, remarks

meslinger measles

mester master of a trade (certified as such by a guild)

midnatt midnight

midlertidig temporarily

mil 10 kilometers

militær military

min mine (possessive)

mindre lesser

mindreårig underage

minste 1) smallest, 2) youngest

minutt minute

moder mother (archaic, see "mor")

mor mother

mord murder

morfar maternal grandfather

morgen morning

mormor maternal grandmother

moster aunt (mother's sister); compare "faster" - aunt (father's sister)

motta receive

murer mason, bricklayer

musiker musician

myndig of age (be of)

møbel furniture

møbelsnekker furniture maker

møller miller

mønstre av (maritime) sign off from crew's list

mønstre på (maritime) sign onto crew's list

måned month

månedsmatleige old taxation measurement equivalent to 3 pounds of butter. 

A unit of land for which one paid one "månadsmatleige".  Literally food for

one man for one month. Discontinued in the latter part of the medieval ages


månadsmatabol see "månadsmatleige"

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n. abreviation for "navn" - name

nsj. abbreviation for "nasjonalitet" - nationality

naar when (archaic - see når)

naar afreist  date of departure (archaic)

namn (nn) name

nabo neighbor

nadverd communion, sacrament

nasjonalitet nationality

natt night

nattverd Holy Communion

nattverdsgang Holy Communion

naut (nn) cattle

navn name

ned down

nedbrent burned down

nedre lower

nei no

nest second, e.g., second oldest son

neste next

nevne mention

nevnt mentioned

nevø nephew

ni nine

niende ninth

niese niece

nitten nineteen

nittende nineteenth

nitti ninety

nittiende ninetieth

noen some, someone, something

nokre (nn) some, someone, something

nord north

nordre northern

norsk Norwegian

noter notes

nu now

nuhavende present

nulevende now living

nummer number

nuværende present

ny new

nyfødt newborn

nylig lately

nyttår new year

nær near

næringsvei occupation, trade


når  1) when, 2) if, 3) reach

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o.s.v. abbreviation for "og så videre" - and so on

odg. abbreviation for "odelsgutt"

odj. abbreviation for "odelsjente"

odr. abbreviation for "odelsrett"

oberst colonel

odel see "odelsrett"

odelsgutt oldest son who had right to inherit the farm

odelsjente oldest daughter who had right to inherit the farm, there 

being no sons

odelsrett allodial right of the oldest child to inherit the parents' farm

offentlig public, official

ofte frequently

og and

oldebarn great grandchild

oldefar great grandfather

oldemor great grandmother

oldeforeldre great grandparents

om if, about

ombudsman trade-union representative

omegn neighboring places

omkom killed, died

omkomme killed, died

omkring approximately

omlag approximately

omtrent approximately, almost

onkel uncle

onsdag Wednesday

opp up

oppe up, above, upstairs

oppfostre to raise

oppført listed

opphav origin

oppholdsted place of residence

oppholt stayed at

oppløse ekteskap dissolve marriage

opprinnelse origin

oppvaksen (nn) grow up

oppvokse grow up

ordfører mayor

oss us

over over

overleve survive

overlevende the survivors

overlate transfer ownership, assign

overtredelse transgression

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pants. abbreviation for "pantsette" - mortgage, give as collateral for loan

pd. abbreviation for "pund" - old measurement

pg.  abbreviation for "pige"

pk.  abbreviation for "pike"

prb. abbreviation for "prestebol" - land belonging to a parish, usually 

refers to the farm house where the priest lived (the vicarage)

prgj. abbreviation for "prestegjeld" - parish

pant mortgage, collateral for a loan

pantebok record book of mortgages

pantsette mortgage, give as collateral for loan

parsell parcel of land

part part

parykk wig

pastor vicar, minister

penger money

pension pension

pensionering retirement

pensionist pensioner

permisjon leave of absence

permitert be on leave

person person

pest plague, pestilence

pige girl (archaic).  See "pike"

pike girl

pikebarn female child

pikenavn maiden name

pinse pentecost

plante plant

plantet planted

plass see "husmannsplass" above

pleiebarn fosterchild

pleiefar foster father

pleiedatter foster daughter

pleieforeldre foster parents

pleiemor foster mother

pleiesønn foster son

politi police

politimann police officer

politiker politician

post mail

postmester postmaster

potet potato

preses president, chairman

prest priest, clergyman

prestebol land belonging to a parish, usually refers to the farm house 

where the priest lived (the vicarage)

prestebolgods land belonging to a parish that was leased out to farmers

prestegjeld parish

prestegård minister's farm and farmhouse

privat private

prost senior priest who supervised the priests in the subparishes

protokoll minutes, written log

præst priest (archaic)

præstegjeld parish (archaic). See "prestegjeld"

pund old measurement: 1 pund = 6 kilograms


påske easter

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rbdl. abbreviation for "riksbankdalar" - old currency 

rdl. abbreviation for "riksdalar" - old currency

realskole secondary school, junior high school

register register, book of records

registrert registered

regning bill

regnskap account

reinsdyr reindeer

reise 1) to travel, 2) to erect, 3) a journey

rektor headmaster, school principal                             

rett 1) court 2) correct, right

rettferdig just, righteous

rettsak law suit

revisor auditor

ride ride

ridder knight

rig wealthy (archaic for "rik")

rik wealthy

riksbankdalar (nn) old currency

riksbankdaler old currency

riksdalar (nn) old currency 

riksdaler old currency

riktig correct

ring poor quality, used to describe fields

rug rye (the grain)

rulle list, roll

rundt around

rytter cavalryman

råd advice

rådhus city hall

rådmann councilman

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s. abbreviation for "sønn" - son or "samme" - same, depending on context

s.å. abbreviation for "samme året" - the same year

sk. abbreviation for "skøyte" - transfer ownership of real estate

skld. abbreviation for "skylddalar" - taxes owed in "dalar" 

skill. abbreviation for "skilling" - old currency

skmk.abbreviation for "skyldmark" - taxes owed in "mark"

spd. abbreviation for "speciedalar" - old currency

St. abbreviation for "Sancte", "Sancta" - Saint

sa said, stated

sag saw

sagbruk sawmill

sagbrukseier sawmill owner

sagmester master sawmiller 

sakfører attorney

sakristi vestry, sacristy

salig deceased, holy, blessed

sambo, samboer cohabitee, common law wife/husband

same 1) same  (nn) 2) a Lapp (nomadic people in northern Norway)

samfunn society

samisk Lapp (nomadic people in northern Norway)

samman (nn) together

sammanboende (nn) cohabitation

samme same

samme dag same day

sammen together

samtlige all

samtykke consent, agreement

sau sheep

se to see

seg oneself, himself, herself

seil sail

seilbåt sailboat

seile to sail

seilte sailed

sekretær secretary

seks six

seksten sixteen

sekstende sixteenth

seksti sixty

sekstiende sixtieth

selde (nn) sold

selgde sold

selge sell 

selger seller

selv self

selveier farmer who owns his own farm, i.e., does not lease it

selvmord suicide

senere later

seng bed

sengeliggende bedridden

separere separate

separeret separeted

sersjant sergeant

seter summer cabin with grazing land in the mountains           

sia (nn) thereafter, later

side page, side

siden thereafter, later

sidenummer page number

sild herring

sin his, hers, its

sine his, his, hers, its

sinnsvak insane, retarded

sinnsyk insane

sinnsykehus insane asylum

siste last, latter

siste olje last rites

sitt his, hers, its

sivilstand marital status

sjef chief

sjeleregister early parish register

sjette sixth

sju seventh

sjuende seventh

skal shall, must

skarlagensfeber scarlet fever

skatt tax

skattelister tax registers

skattemanntall census like listing of persons subjected to pay taxes

skattematrikkel written tax roll, register

sjø sea

sjøkaptein captain of a vessel

sjømann seaman, sailor

sjå see, refer to 

sjå 10, Ligård see/refer to bruk number 10 at the Ligård farm

sjåfør driver

skib ship (archaic)

skibsfører captain of a ship (archaic)

skifte distribution of property in a  probate proceeding

skifteprotokoll probate records

skifteretten probate court

skiftesamling meeting of heirs

skild divorced, partitioned, subdivided

skilde divorce, partition, subdivide

skille to divorce, partition, subdivide

skilling old currency

skilsmisse divorce

skilt divorced

skip ship

skipper skipper, master mariner

skipreide military district (archaic)

skjedde happened

skjorte shirt

sko shoes

skog forest

skole school

skoledistrict school district

skoleholder schoolmaster

skolemester schoolmaster

skolestyre school board

skomaker shoemaker, cobbler (repar.)

skredder tailor

skrin small chest

skuld (nn) 1) debt, 2) tax (especially real estate tax: "landsskyld")

skulle should

skutt shot

skyld 1) debt, 2) tax (especially real estate tax: landsskyld) 

skylddalar taxes owed in "dalar" 

skyldmark taxes owed in "mark" 

skyte shoot

skøyte 1) transfer of deed for ownerhsip of real estate, 2) sailboat

skøytebok register of transfers of ownership of real estate

slag 1) stroke, apoplectic stroke, 2) military battle, 3) blow

slakte to butcher 

slakter butcher

slaktet butchered

slekt relatives, kin

slektninger relatives, kin

slektsforskning genealogy, genealogical research

slektsgren branch, line of a family

slektshistorie family history

slektsvåpen family coat of arms

slektning relative

slektsnavn family name, surname

slektstavle family tree/chart

slott castle/palace

slått mowing hay

slåttonn mowing season

smaabruk small farm (archaic)

smed blacksmith

småbruk small farm

småfe sheep and goats

snart soon

snedker carpenter (archaic).  See "snekker"

snekker carpenter, cabinetmaker

snædker carpenter (archaic).  See "snekker"

sogn subparish

sogneprest subparish priest

sokn subparish (archaic). See "sogn"

sokneprest subparish priest (archaich)

soldat soldier

solgt sold

solgte sold

som who, which, that

sommer summer

son (nn) son

sonen (nn) son

sorenskriver magistrate, probate judge

sort black

spann bucket (used as old measurement)

spanske syken Spanish flu

spebarn infant 

speciedaler old currency

sprit alcohol

språk language

stabbur storehouse on pillars

stad town

stamgods inherited property/estate

staten the national government

statsarkivet National archives

statsminister prime minister

stamfar progenitor

stamtavle ancestry table

stand occupation

stebarn step child

stebror stepbrother

sted place

stedatter stepdaughter

stedsnavn name of a place

stefar step father

stemor stepmother

stesønn stepson

stesøster stepsister

stift diocese (archaic)

stilling occupation

stor large

storfe cattle

storkveg (nn) cattle

stove (nn) small house or cottage

straff punishment

straks immediately, right away

strandsitter person who rented a house on a larger farm near or at 

the coastline.  See "husmann"

stridt difficult

stum mute, unable to speak

styrmann ships mate

støl see "seter"

største largest

står stands

svak weak

svakhet weakness

svart black

svenn apprentice

svensk Swedish

svenske Swede

Sverige Sweden

svigerinne sister-in-law

svigerdatter daughter-in-law

svigerfar father-in-law

siverforeldre father-in-law and mother-in-law

svigerinne sister-in-law

svigermor mother-in-law

svigersønn son-in-law

svin pig

svoger brother-in-law

svulst tumor

svær large

sy to sow

syd south

sydlig southern

syerske seamstress

syfilis syphilis

syk sick 

sykdom illness

sykdomstilstand state of health

sykelig sickly 

sykehus hospital

sypige seamstress

sypike seamstress

syskenborn (nn) cousins

syster (nn) sister

sytten seventeen

syttende seventeenth

sytti seventy

syttiende seventieth

syv seven

syvende seventh

sølv silver

sølveigar (nn) farmer who owns his own farm, i.e., does not lease it

søn son (archaic for "sønn")

søndag Sunday

søndre southern

sønn son

sønnedatter granddaughter, son's daughter

sønnesønn grandson, son's son

sør south

søsken siblings

søskenbarn cousins

søster sister

søstersønn sister's son

søsterdatter sister's daughter

sæter summer cabin with grazing land in the mountains           

 1) saw (to see), 2) so, if so, 3) sow (seeds)

sådan such

således thus

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ta to take

tak roof

takk thank you

takksigelse thanksgiving

takst rated value

tale speech

tall number

tallet, 1800-tallet etc. century, 19th century etc

tambur drummer (military)

tann tooth

tannlege dentist

tante aunt

taus quiet

teglverk brickworks     

teig field on a farm

tellingstedet location of census, enumeration place                     

testament will, last will and testament

testamentere bequeath

to two

ti ten

tid time

tidlig early

tidligere earlier, prior

tidsperiode time period

tiend tithing, one tenth of one's income or harvest, payable to the church

tiende a tenth

tigger beggar

tilbakestående mentally retarded

til sjøss at sea

tilhøre belong to

tillatelse permission, dispensasion

tilreisende visitor

tilstede present

time hour

ting district court

tingbøker court records.

tinglag judicial district

tinn pewter

tippoldefar great great grandfather

tippoldemor great great grandmother

tippoldeforeldre great great grandparents

tirsdag Tuesday

titel title (archaic for "tittel")

tittel title

tjene 1) to serve, to work, 2) to earn

tjener servant

tjeneste service

tjenestedreng young male servant

tjenestefolk servants

tjenestegutt young male servant

tjenestekarl male servant

tjenestejente young female servant, maid

tjenestepige young female servant, maid

tjente 1) served, 2) earned

tjue twenty

tjuende twentieth

to two

tok took

toll customs

tollbetjent customs agent

tollverket customs department

tolv twelve

tolvte twelth

tomt lot (of land)

torsdag Thursday

tre 1) the number three, 2) a tree

tredde third

tredje third

tredve thirty

tremenning  second cousin

trelast load of lumber

tretten thirteen

trettende thirteenth

trolig probably

trulig (nn) probably

trolove betroth, engage

trolovelse betrothment, engagement

trolovet engaged

trossamf.  abbreviation for "trossamfunn" - religious belief

trossamfunn religious belief

tuberkulose tuberculosis

tugthus prison (archaic)

tukthus prison (archaic)

tusen thousand 

tvilling twin

tyfus typhoid fever

tysk German

Tyskland Germany

tyv thief

tyve twenty

tyvende twentieth

tømmer lumber

tømmermann carpenter, framer

tønne barrel

tørke drought

tæring tuberculosis (archaic)

 (nn) from

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ug. abbreviation for "ugift" - single, not married

udi from, in (archaic) 

udøpt not baptized

uekte illegitimate, out of wedlock

ufør crippled

uge week (archaic for "uke")

ugift single not married

uke week

ukjent unknown

ulovlig illegal

ulykke accident 

ulykkelig unhappy

umoralsk immoral

umyndig under age/legally incompetent 

under under

underholde support

underskrevne the undersigned

underskrift signature

underskrive to sign

undertegne to sign

ung young

ungkar bachelor, unmarried man

ungkarl bachelor, unmarried man

unntatt except

ur watch

urmaker watch-maker

uskyldig innocent

ussel miserable, poor

usømmelig indecent

ut out

utarma worn out, impoverished

utdrag abstract

utdø extinct, die out

utdødd extinct, died out

uten without

utenfor outside of

utenfor ekteskap out of wedlock

utenlands abroad

utenom ekteskap out of wedlock

utenomekteskapelig out of wedlock

utflytte move out from

utflytning move out from

utføre to do, to perform

utgi publish

uti at, in

utlandet abroad

utnevnt appointed

utskilt partitioned/divided from

utukt lechery, fornication

utvandre emigrate

utvandrer emigrant

utvandring emigration

utviklingshemmet mentally retarded

uægte illegitimate (archaic - see "uekte")

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vaksinasjon vaccination

vaksinasjonsprotokoll vaccination register

vaksinert vaccinated

vanfør disabled, paralyzed

vanskapt deformed, handicapped

vann 1) water, 2) lake

vannsott dropsy

vannvittig insane

var was, were

vart (nn) was

vask wash

vattersott dropsy

ved 1) at, by, 2) firewood

ved siden av next to

vekse opp (nn) grow up

velstand prosperity

venn friend

venstre left

verge guardian

verger guardians

verneplikt military duty

verbror (nn) brother-in-law

verdotter (nn) daughter-i-law

verfar (nn) father-in-law

vermor (nn) mother-in-law

verson (nn) son-in-law

versøster (nn) sister-in-law

vertshus inn, guesthouse 

verve enlist (military)

vest west

vestre western

veterinær veterinary surgeon, veterinarian (US)

veve weave

vever weaver

vidne witness

vidnere witnesses

vielse marriage, wedding

vielsesattest marriage certificate

viet married

vigd married

vigelse marriage

vinter winter

vitne witness

vitnesbyrd testimony

vogn wagon, carriage, vehicle

vognfabrikk wagon factory

vognmaker wagon maker

voldta rape

voldtekt rape

voldtatt raped

værdig worthy

være to be

værge guardian (archaic for "verge")

våningshus the house on a farm where people live.

våger old measurement

vår 1) spring, 2) our

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yngre younger

yngst youngest

yrke profession, trade

yttre outer-most

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ægte legitimate (archaic)

ægteskab marriage (archaic)

ældste oldest (archaic)

ærbødigst respectfully

ære honor

ærlig honest

ætt family

ættegransking genealogy

ættling heir

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øde abandoned, desolate

ødegard farm that was abandoned during the Black death

ødelegge destroy

ødemark wasteland, wilderness

øie eye

ønske wish, desire, want

øre 1) ear, 2) currency

øst east

østre eastern

øvre upper

øverste uppermost

øy island

øye eye

øyde abandoned

øyk (nn) mare (female horse)

øyker (nn) mares (female horses)

øverst upper

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åleine (nn) alone

åker field

ånd spirit

åndssvak feeble minded

år year

år gammel age (in years)

årehus small, one-room house with a small opening in the roof to let out 

smoke from the hearth. ("åre" = hearth). In use until the mid- to late- 

1800's in many rural areas in Norway

årene the years

århundre century

årleg (nn) annual, yearly

årlig annual, yearly

årsak cause, reason

åtte 1) eight, 2) owned (nn)

åttende eight

åtti eighty

åttiende eightieth

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