PLAIN VIEW HERITAGE FARM,

RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:

Old Norwegian Sayings

from "Of Norwegian Ways,

by Bent Vanberg

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For a short time every year (say, ten or fifteen minutes starting 11:49 p.m.) Norway looks like this:

For most of the year, West Norway (where our forebears originated) looks like this:

Note from Editor: Many of these old sayings go back centuries, and are shared by other countries as well, as the Norwegians certainly got around in their sleek longships back in their Viking days, and we all know Norwegians, despite some silent types among them, were a talkative bunch whenever they got together! The long winters especially made it imperative that that they entertain themselves, as the winter snows locked them in to their dwellings for months on end. They therefore developed story-telling and long narrative and poetic epics as their supreme art, and the Eddas and Sagas of the Norse of Iceland are the world's treasure, unsurpassed by any other body of literature, oral and written, except by a close rival perhaps, the Greeks.

The following represent the wisdom of the Norse, which reflects their lives of practiced endurance despite hardships and perils in northern climes that were always close on their heels, winter and summer. We give you the Norwegian, then the English translation, but there is no complete equal to the Norwegian, of course.

The Norwegian in me probably explains my love of creating limericks early in my youth. One I came up with: Much wants more, avoids the poor. I wish now I had preserved the others. At the time nobody had any use for limericks, but now I see they are a sign of my own heritage, and that it still lives in me.-- Ronald Ginther, of the 3rd generation of Stadem emigrants from Norway

WISE OLD NORWEGIAN SAYINGS

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"Etter regn kommer solskinn"--Sunshine follows rain.

"Det er ikke gull alt som glimrer"--All is not gold that glitters.

"Liten tue kan velte stort lass"--Little strokes fell great oaks.

"Hastverk er lastverk"--More haste, less speed (Haste makes waste)

"Like barn leker best"--Birds of a feather flock together

"Brent barn skyr ilden"--A burnt child avoids the fire (Once bitten, twice shy)

"Borte bra, men hjemme best"--East-West, home best

"Eplet faller ikke langt fra stammen"--The apple does not fall far from the tree

"Hver fugl synger med sitt nebb"--Every bird sings with his own voice

"Nye koster feier best"--New brooms sweep clean

"Den som ler sist ler best"--He who laughs last, laughs loudest

"Hunger er den beste kokk"--Hunger is the best sauce

"Renslighet er en dyd sa kjerring, hun vrengte underkjolen hver juleveld"--"Cleanliness is a virtue," said the old woman turning her shift [dress] inside out every Christmas Eve

"Stillest vann har dypest grunn"--Still water runs deep [beware, men, a poker-face on your wife means she has something up her sleeve!--Ed.]

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Part II: Here is a sample of what we need to put to Classic Norsk, which is pronounced best with a live sardine dipped in honey mustard and stuffed up each nostril:

"A wise-acre is usually hectare-foolish,

"Twenty million mules can't be wrong,

"Houses come with a front and a back door; decide before you move in, which is more important (metaphor for marriage),

"Any man (and any woman too) who looks twice before crossing a street, would never cross (another metaphor for marriage),

"Every atheist who drives over a bridge assured it will drop with him into the river is a true believer, a liar, and a shameless hypocrite, that is, COMPLETELY INSANE,

"Babies pay you back with dirty diapers and tantrum fits, and are still loved, while politicians whom nobody in his right mind loves, vote themselves pay increases and huge pensions and go laughing to the bank,

"Crooked politicians who go laughing to the bank now were bad at playing marbles at school recess, and lost their marbles early in life (which shows even jackasses can learn how to get ahead if they act cussedly perverse enough, right?

"The best form a Nobel Prize for Peace takes should be a lit stick of dynamite in honor of the prize founder, Alfred Nobel of Sweden, who helped kill more people with his good intentions than Stalin and Margaret Sanger combined,

"Drip irrigation was first invented by smart, nagging ladies who wanted something they couldn't get otherwise from their obstinate husbands,

"One man's utopia is everybody else's soggy, cold pizza,

"Thank God beauty is skin-deep, else we would be admiring beauty pageants contestants' livers, kidneys, pancreases, and gall bladders.

"The road to hell is paved not so much with good intentions as political flyers from incumbents paid for with taxpayer money and which come in the mail, again, the postage paid for by us taxpayers!"

PLEASE RETURN FOR MORE OF THESE PRICELESS, WISE, NOSTRIL-CHALLENGING NORWEGIAN SAYINGS, AS WE WILL HAVE TO WRITE OR DRAW THE OTHERS THAT HAVE THE SPECIAL MARKINGS FOR PRONUNCIATION, MARKINGS THAT DO NOT COME WITH THE STANDARD KEYBOARD, BUT WHICH BIRDS FLYING OVERHEAD READILY MAKE AVAILABLE!--ED.


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