Men sitting at a bench in Iceland speaking Icelandic

8 Icelandic phrases to learn

Icelandic is one of the Nordic languages and most closely resembles Faroese even though it also has some strong similarities to Norwegian and Danish. Icelanders make a great deal of keeping the language intact even though words such as LOL and OMG may have slipped in. And remarkably, the Icelandic spoken today has not changed much from the language of the early Norse settlers. That means even children can enjoy an Icelandic Saga from the thirteenth century.

If you plan on spending some time in Iceland or just want to impress your friends, we’ve listed out 8 Icelandic phrases for you to learn.

  1. Takk fyrir mig – Thank you for me
    Icelanders use “Takk fyrir mig” when they leave a restaurant, party, or any kind of get-together. It is also frequently used after having been invited for a meal or for a cup of coffee.
  2. Hvar er ég? – Where am I?
    If you are driving your own car in the Icelandic wilderness, you will likely find yourself in the middle of nowhere. Don’t hesitate to knock on the doors of the closest farm or waive towards a car and ask this question. Icelanders are friendly people.
  3. Ertu að djóka með þetta verð? – Are you kidding me with this price?
    Since Iceland became a popular travel destination, there has been a lot of discussion about price increase of food, hotels and other things offered to tourists. If you are flabbergasted by the price of your slice of pie you can sound very Icelandic if you ask the server: ertu að djóka með þetta verð?
  4. Ég kem alveg af fjöllum – I come completely from the mountains
    Yes, this quite a peculiar phrase. Icelanders use this when they have no idea what’s going on or what you are talking about.
  5. Ég skal sýna þér hvar Davíð keypti ölið – I’ll show you where David bought the ale
    You might think this is a normal thing to say until you realize what it means. If an Icelanders says this to you I would run away, because he’s telling you he will kick your ass. Or you might have betrayed an Icelander and he is plotting against you. Either way, it’s not good news.
  6. Sjáðu þetta rassgat – Look at this asshole!
    Icelanders are not telling you too look at a butt nor are they pointing out an annoying person. This is actually a great compliment. Icelanders say this when they see something cute, say a puppy or they think a friend’s child is adorable. Then the puppy and the baby are assholes.
  7. Það er rúsínan í pylsuendanum – That is the raisin at the end of the hot dog
    I’m not sure I would be pleasantly surprised if I found a raisin in my hot dog. But this Icelandic saying means that there is a great surprise at the end. For example, say you are attending Justin Timberlake concerts and at the end of the night the whole N*SYNC crew comes out to play. That would be awesome, right? Well that would be your raisin at the end of the hot dog.
  8. Ég er eins og úfinn hænurass – I’m like a fluffy chicken’s ass
    Iceland is very windy and Icelandic women are use to having messy hair. When it’s one of those days we say we look like a fluffy chicken’s ass.
    Come to think of it, it really sounds like Icelanders are obsessed with behinds.



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