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                            lague (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