Spynorsk mordliste

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Spynorsk mordliste (Norwegian: [ˈspyːnɔʂk ²muːrlistə], literally "Spew Norwegian Murder List") is a derogatory term meant to disparage Nynorsk, one of the two official standards of written Norwegian. It is a pun on Nynorsk ordliste, the title of the "New Norwegian Word List", a Nynorsk dictionary.


Nynorsk ordliste was first published in 1938; the eleventh edition came in 2012.

Learning to write both of the written standards of Norwegian, Nynorsk and Bokmål, is compulsory in Norwegian schools.[1] Among student users of Bokmål in some areas, mockery of Nynorsk became widespread toward the end of the 20th century.[2] For example they would use a pen to change the cover title of Nynorsk ordliste to "Spynorsk mordliste".[3]


Anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen, in his 1993 book Typisk norsk (Typical Norwegian), suggested "Nynorsk mordliste" [sic] as being among typical Norwegian cultural traits—meaning that the term has a certain connotation for many Norwegians.[4]

The term has also been used in politics. In the run-up to the 2005 parliamentary election, the Conservative politician Harald Victor Hove from Hordaland gained some attention for burning a copy of Nynorsk ordliste as a part of his campaign. He referred to the book as "'Spynorsk mordliste', as we used to call it".[5] During debates in the city council of Oslo—a Bokmål stronghold—the term has also been used. Progress Party politician Anette Elseth spoke to limit compulsory school writing to one of the written standards only, and added that she and others used to change the name of the dictionary to "Spynorsk mordliste".[6] In another debate, Conservative politician Øystein Sundelin claimed—rhetorically—that "regrettably, more than half" of the school attenders in Oslo have written "Spynorsk mordliste" on their dictionaries.[7]


  1. ^ "Nynorsken i årstal" (in Norwegian). Ivar Aasen Centre. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  2. ^ See for instance Eriksen, Thomas H. (6 February 2004). "De tre sidemålene". Morgenbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Tryti, Tove (2009). Norsk slangordbok (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. p. 347. ISBN 978-82-573-1980-9. 
  4. ^ Eriksen, Thomas Hylland (1993). Typisk norsk. Essays om kulturen i Norge (in Norwegian). Oslo: Huitfeldt. pp. 234–236. ISBN 82-7003-121-6. 
  5. ^ Børhaug, Espen (13 August 2005). "Harald brenner «spynorsken»". Bergensavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "Sak nr. 540. Sidemål i videregående opplæring". Forhandlinger i Oslo bystyres møte onsdag 27. september 2000 (in Norwegian). Oslo City Council. 27 September 2000. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Sak nr. 73. Utvidet forsøk med valgfritt skriftlig sidemål i videregående skole". Forhandlinger i Oslo bystyres møte onsdag 27. februar 2008 (in Norwegian). Oslo City Council. 27 September 2000. Retrieved 2 July 2009.