Salten is a district in Nordland county in Norway. It includes the municipalities of Meløy, Gildeskål, Bodø, Beiarn, Saltdal, Fauske, Sørfold, Steigen, and Hamarøy. Salten covers an area of about 11,250 square kilometres (4,340 sq mi) and has a population (2011) of about 78,680 people.
The district borders Helgeland in the south (see Saltfjellet), Ofoten in the north, Sweden in the east, and Vestfjorden (and Lofoten) in the west. The geology in Salten is known in Norway for having the country's largest areas with marble. There are many fjords, and mountains often reaching to the sea. Bodø is the main population center of the district, while Fauske is a secondary center.
The dialect of Salten is well known for its large use of apocope. For instance: "æ tænkt å kjøp ei flask fløt og en pos me pæra vess æ rækk butikkan", for normal Norwegian "eg tenkte å kjøpe ei flaske fløte og ein pose med pærer om eg rekker butikkane". The words tenkte, kjøpe, flaske, fløte, pose, pærer and rekker are pronounced with two syllables in normal Norwegian, but with just one in some Salten dialects.
The district is named after the Saltfjorden (Old Norse: Salpti), and the fjord is probably named after the famous Saltstraumen. Even though the word salt has the same meaning in the modern Norwegian language as in the English language, these names most likely have nothing to do with salt, but are derived from an old (obsolete) word salpt with the meaning "strong stream".
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