Alcoholic Slang and Moon Days

One thing I have not yet covered is something that you can’t find in a standard dictionary: slang. Every language has it, few who aren’t native recognize it (unless we’re talking English, since most European countries watch enough American movies to know our slang better than we do).

I stumbled upon the Slangurorðabók, or the “Slang Dictionary” online, and although it’s in Icelandic, I found some greatly humorous things. But before I can expound on some humorous findings, you’ll need to know the Icelandic days of the week:

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 9.40.35 PM

All the words end in “dagur” meaning “day,” but start with different things.

A depiction of Máni and Sól by Dutch artist Lorenz Frølich

A depiction of Máni and Sól by Dutch artist Lorenz Frølich

The “sunnu” in the Icelandic “Sunnudagur” comes from the Old Norse “sunna” meaning sun. Right next to it lies Mánudagur, “máni” being Old Norse for moon. So the first two days are Sun Day and Moon Day. In Norse mythology, Sunna is the sister of the moon, Máni, and he is in turn her brother. These days should be no surprise considering that “Sunday” and “Monday” literally mean Sun and Moon day as well, after Old English. It is interesting how it took Icelandic for me to make this connection.

 

Tuesday, Þriðjudagur, comes from “þriðji” meaning “third.” After the Third Day you have “Miðvikudagur,” or  mið (“middle”) + vika (“week”). This etymology of the day in the middle of the week is followed by many other languages. Fimmdudagur (Thursday) is the “Fifth day,” and Föstudagur (Friday) is the “fast day” or day of fasting.

The most interesting day in my opinion, and one most directly related to the lives of Icelanders is Saturday, which is Laugardagur or “Bath/Pool Day.” “Laug” in Old Norse means bath/pool and is directly related to the hot springs that have been bathed in for centuries.

So now that you have a basic knowledge of the days of the week, it’s time to invite some slang into the picture. One thing you must know: Icelanders love to drink. Alcohol is extremely expensive there in comparison to the US, but that doesn’t stop most of them from going out every night to drink their nights away. Of course, drinking is easiest on the weekends, and thats why new names have been invented for the weekdays full of drinking and recovering from drunken nights. I will now introduce to you our first word:

flöskudagur

Kind of looks like föstudagur, but you have a little variation. That’s because “flöskur” or “flaska” means, obviously, flask. Flask day, or the day to buy alcohol. It seems that this isn’t recent slang, and was actually used in a poem in 1945 by the poet Káinn (Kristján Níels Júlíus Jónsson). So, if you’ve got a day for buying alcohol you’ve got to have a day for the result of that alcohol purchase:

þunnudagur

Assuming that the drinking happens on that Saturday, Sunday must be a harsh day of waking up after being drunk. For this we have a a variation of Sunnudagur, in which “þunnur, ” the word for weak or hung-over, is applied: Hung-over Day. I’m not so sure how happy the goddess Sól would be for being replaced with a word that defines itself as “weak.” “þynnkudagur” seems to be used a little as well, which also translates to “Hangover Day.”

So if you’re a heavy drinker, you can just sidestep the correct days of the weekend and replace them with your slang of choice. Unfortunately I don’t think Sól can do much about it.

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