Norwegian Genealogical Word List

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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 the "Additional Resources" section 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.


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


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


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 


cirka                                      approximately
communion                           Communion
confirmerede                         confirmed
copulerede                            marriage 

D through F


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
dø                                            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 


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 


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


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
gå                                       go, walk
gård                                    farm
gårdbruker                          farmer
gårdeier                              farm owner
gårsdagens                         of yesterday  



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                                       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 through L


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 



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 kår


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 through O


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
måned                             month


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


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
oppholdsted                   residence
opptegnelse                   record
ordbok                            dictionary
ordfører                          mayor
oss                                  us
osv.                                et cetera, and so on
over                               over
overlevende                  survivors
overtredelse                  transgression

P through S


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
på                                    on, at, upon
påske                               Easter


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


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
så saw (see),                  so, if so, sow (seed)
sådan                             such
således                          thus, in this or that

T through V


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


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


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 through Å


yngre younger
yngst youngest
yrke profession


ærbødig respectful
ære honor
ærlig honest
ættegransking genealogy


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


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


Spelling was not standardized when most early records were made. The following spelling variations are common:

aa used for å
j used for gj
b used for p ld used for ll
c used for k nd used for nn
d used for t q used for k
e used for æ u used for v
f used for v w used for v
g used for k x used for ks
i used for j 
ch used for k
tj used for kj
hj used for j


"gjørtler" spelled as "giørtler"
"mann" spelled as "mand"
"kvinne" spelled as "quinde"


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.


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
fødte, født
begravelse, jordet
census folketelling
christening døbte, døbt
clerical district prestegjeld
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
parents foreldre
parish sogn
probate skifte
vaccination vaccinerede, vaksinert
wife hustru
year år