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40 Norwegian Synonyms for “Woman”

The Norwegian language is richer and more nuanced than even most Norwegians are aware of. One example is synonyms for the word “kvinne” (English: woman). Here is a selection of 40 words and what qualities they are associated with. The synonyms are also translated directly into English, where possible.


Berte: Young, single and vain

Brud: Bride, but also used about a young, attractive girl

Burugle: Less attractive, simple minded

Elskerinne: Mistress

Enke: Widow

Frille: Old Norse word for “mistress” or “extra wife”

Fristerinne: Temptress; seductive, low sexual morals, younger

Fruentimmer: Strict, high morals, faithful (older) wife

Frøken: Miss; young, conservative

Heks: Witch; willful, strong, dangerous

Hespetre: Willful, angry and slightly evil

Hoppe: “Filly”; vigorous, attractive, young

Hulder: A supernatural female being with a cow’s tale, according to Norwegian folk tradition; alluring, dangerous with a wild, attractive exterior

Hurpe: Bitch

Husmor: Housewife

Hustru: Wife

Jente: Girl

Jentunge: Young girl

Jomfru: Virgin

Jåle: Too much makeup, self-centered

Kjeftsmelle: Fussy, always yelling at someone

Kjerring: Origins from the word “kjerling”; “a woman of the people”. Can be used both positively and negatively; spouse and/or bitch.

Kjerringemne: ”Good wife material”

Konemor: Another word for spouse; stout, faithful

Kvige: “Heifer”; solid, stable and younger female

Kvinnfolk: A real woman

Megge: Bitch; cheeky, vicious, somewhat older

Mor: Mother

Møy: Maiden; pretty, young, unmarried

Pike: “Jente” (girl), spoken by older people

Rivjern: “Grater”; strong, stubborn, argumentative

Rødstrømpe: “Red stocking”; women’s rights activist, socialist, often associated with a social worker

Røy: Vulgar, untidy, older

Skreppe: Scantily dressed, young and easy

Snelle: “Reel”; young, sweet and easy going

Tispe: ”Bitch”; rude and easy

Trulte: Chubby, cheerful, simple

Tulle: A small, sweet baby girl

Tøs: Will try ”everything” (at least) once

Viv: Faithful wife

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